Harvard Westlake Debates

2019 — Los Angeles, CA/US

Naomi Alan Paradigm

6 rounds

Email: nalan0815@gmail.com

I have debated policy debate for 3 years in high school 2008-2011 and have judged for about 5+ years now. I always disclose.

I REALLY like to see impact calculus - "Even if..." statements are excellent! Remember: magnitude, time frame, probability. I only ever give high speaker points to those that remember to do this. This should also help you remember to extend your impacts.

  • I don't like when both sides keep extending arguments/cards that say opposite things without also giving reasons to prefer one over the other. Tell me how the arguments interact, how they're talking about something different, etc.

Be sure to extend (especially your T voters). If it's going to be in your last speech, it better be in the speech before it. Otherwise, I give weight to the debater that points it out and runs theory to block it from coming up again or applying.

---------------------------- Miscellaneous ---------------------------------

I do not count emailing/flashing as prep time unless it takes around 3 minutes. Tag-team cross-ex is ok as long as it's both teams agree to it and you're not talking over your partner.

Full disclosure: I'm not familiar with a lot of K's beyond the basics (cap, fem, etc.), and FrameWork tends to be a mess, so those might need a little more explanation on K solvency for me or ima get lost

Tim Alderete Paradigm

3 rounds

Judging Philosophy - Tim Alderete -The Meadows School - timalderete@yahoo.com

Time before a round is Limited - you usually can't read the Whole Philosophy -the first part is the Short Version, the second part is if you have time to read it all.

First Part - Short / Pre Round Version

-"If nobody hates you, you are doing something wrong." - Dr. House

-I do want to be on the email chain - timalderete@yahoo.com
-I have a minimum standard for coherence of arguments or evidence. This probably means you think I’m “Interventionist.”
-I am not the best judge for Bad Theory. This is the area where my “minimum standard” gets used the most.
-I don’t inflate speaker points. To offset my low speaker point range, I offer incentives for flowing and sharing documents.
-I have often voted for kritikal affirmative and negative arguments
-I "can handle" your "speed" and I will call "Clearer" if you are unclear.
-I will vote on Defensive arguments.
-Prep time ends when you hit Send on the Email or hand over the USB.
-(Never thought I would have to state this in my philosophy...) Misrepresenting the context of evidence is cheating and can result in (up to) the loss of the round and points.

Second Part - Longer Version

Initially - I don't think that many people describe accurately how they judge. This is how I think I judge, but it is always better to ask Other people how I judge - they may have more accurate information.

Speaker Points – My speaker point range: 26 (Bad), 27 (Decent), 27.5 (Pretty Good), 28.0 (Very Good), 28.5 (Outstanding). 29.0 and above are saved for the most exceptional speakers – I have only given 3 people over a natural 29.0 in the last five years. I recognize that this range is lower than many judges. My Reason for my range is based upon my 28 years judging well over 4000 rounds at the high school and college levels – I am probably harder to impress than most judges. I have thought about changing my range, but I have chosen not to inflate speaker points, for the same reason that I chose not to inflate grades – it gives me no way to rate truly exceptional debaters, and doesn’t let fair to middling debaters know that they need to improve.

However, I Have chosen to augment points with incentives. If you keep a good flow, and show it to me after the round, I will give you up to an additional speaker point if I agree that it is a good flow. I do this to encourage flowing and organization. If you do not steal Any prep time during the debate and practice good USB/Paperless norms, I will give you up to .5 more. Remember that once I have entered my E-Ballot online, I cannot change your points, so you must Ask before I turn the ballot in.

The Theory – Good theory arguments are essential to prevent abusive practices by teams. Good theory is one aspect of debate that makes our activity unique, because it gives students a sense of empowerment as they control the rules of the game. Theory arguments are sometimes your only option – your “Plan B” – and I respect debaters who recognize and utilize their most strategic options. Bad Theory arguments make it harder for me to take Good Theory arguments seriously, because if everything is a voting issue, then nothing is. I think that currently, Bad Theory is drowning out Good Theory. I admit that there is no precise line or list dividing the two, and I won’t “Automatically Intervene” against arguments that I think are Bad, and I Often vote against my “defaults” or “preferences” on Theory. I will Try to take your Theory arguments as seriously as you do, but at a fundamental level, It is Harder to Convince me of a Dumb argument than a Good argument.

For the most part, debaters do a bad job of justifying that arguments are a reason to vote against a debater, rather than to drop an argument. Debaters too often conflate “Bad Debate Practice” with “Abusive Practices.” Too often, debaters focus on comparing fairness and education as terminal impacts, rather than focusing on the Link Magnitude and Probability of your theory arguments. Too often people overcommit, or go all-in, on theory too early in the debate. I believe that good theory can/should drown out Bad theory. Because that is such an imprecise line, I will try to give you some examples, so that you can see what my proclivities are:

Bad Theory –
Affirmative Framework Choice – this, Literally, Argues that Argument is Bad
“No Solvency Advocate = You Lose” – this is a solvency press, not a theory argument.
“PICs must have one card which advocates the Action it takes and Advocates Not taking the Action it PICs out of” – like above, but Waaay more silly.
“I cannot turn your theory argument, so you lose.” – Fundamental misunderstanding of how arguments work.
“Topicality is a Reverse Voting Issue” – No, it isn’t.
“You lose because you put your Role of the Ballot on the Bottom, not the Top, of the AC.” – Stunning.

"You said no reverse voting issues. That's a reverse voting issue." I'm speechless...
“You lose because you ran both theoretical and substantive justifications for your framework” – Really?!
“You didn’t number your Spikes = You lose.” – Strike me. Seriously.

Good Theory –
Whole Resolution / Plans Bad
Truth Testing vs Competing Worlds
Role Playing Policymakers vs Discourse
PICs Good/Bad (only run against Counterplans, not against Plans or the Resolution… Just FYI)

Fiat issues (Multiple Actors, International Actors, Contingent Fiat, etc. NOT "No Neg Fiat")

Offense and Defense – Offensive arguments are good because they give you options and they pressure the other debater. Defensive arguments are good because they often are necessary complements to offensive arguments, and because they are often the strongest logical flaws against a position. The idea that Defensive arguments cannot take out a position alone is misguided. "Offense/Defense" is a useful teaching concept but it is often misapplied as a debate argument or comparison, most often on theory. It is not an excuse to avoid responding to Link answers or Violation Answers or Counter standards. I am easier to convince than most judges that there is No Case, No Violation or No Interpretation. I rarely default to "There is always some risk." I evaluate impact calculus After I decide whether you have won an argument, not before (or instead of) it. I do not see "Defensive" arguments as being weaker arguments. An Intelligent Defensive argument is better than a Poor Offensive argument. I am willing to vote on Defensive arguments that take out the entirety of a case or the entirety of a Theory argument. It may be a high Threshold, but there is a Threshold. Again, Examples:

“You did not extend your Impacts – therefore there are no impacts” – this is just a weak press.
“Alternative Causality – they cannot solve all racism in the world” – I don’t believe that was their claim to start with…
“Economic Decline doesn’t cause war” – this is Defensive, but just because it doesn’t cause war doesn’t mean that decline isn’t bad.
“There is no Offensive reason why they Don’t have to number their spikes.” – Defense will probably suffice here.
“Obama won’t lose political capital if Kenya decides to ban oil” vs “There is always a risk of a link” – this has crossed the threshold of No Risk.

Kritiks - Good Kritik debates are some of the best debates that I have judged. They are interesting, creative, demand challenging case specific research, and respond to core issues and assumptions raised by the Affirmative. Bad Kritik debates are some of the worst debates that I have judged. They avoid engaging the debate either through obscure jargon or shallow procedurals, or conflate kritiks with other arguments, or are hopelessly generic, or are about Baudrilliard. I think that kritiks often balance well the philosophical and the political in LD – as such, I think that LD has been “Doing Kritiks” for decades, without calling the arguments kritiks. I think that it is a mistake to conflate all discourse arguments with “Micropolitical Activism” – they are not always synonyms.

Prep Time – LD has not developed norms or practices for sharing paperless evidence. This causes a substantial waste of time, which extends or moots prep time limits. At a minimum, I have these expectations:

-Prep time should end when you hand the USB to the opponent.
-Debaters must provide a USB or Email copy of every card they read to their opponent prior to the speech. Paper copies can be handed to them as they are read.
-Reading over someone’s shoulder is NOT a sufficient substitute – it is a major distraction, interferes with flowing, and it means one person will not be able to use their computer
-The Cases, Disads, frontlines, evidence, etc. must All be in One word document, rather than spread out over multiple documents.
-You may time yourself, but only My time is official.
-Why wouldn't you use Microsoft Word?
-I won't read evidence that isn't shared via USB or email. I realize that some teams have a Policy against sharing evidence. Those teams either already strike me, or should in the future.

Policy – I have coached both Policy and LD – although I have focused on Policy for most years. While I have judged a substantial amount of LD, my judging will always, inevitably, be influenced by my Policy background. Because of that:

-I hold debaters responsible for high quality evidence.
-I am familiar with Counterplan, Kritik and Topicality positions and burdens.
-I “can handle” The Speed.
-I have a lower point range.
-I reward strategic choices, and believe that Diverse Options are good.
-I don’t like Disclosure games – Although Don’t take this to mean I want to hear Disclosure theory…
-I will disclose decisions after the debate. I am not used to disclosing points, but I am not opposed to it.

I am usually loud and long winded when explaining decisions - I am not trying to be mean, just loud. I do enjoy judging a lot, even if I appear intimidating. In general, I will flow pretty much any intelligible speed. I will consider pretty much any intelligent argument.

Ansuman Bardalai Paradigm

6 rounds

dv '18

ansbardalai@gmail.com add me

arguments need warrants (so read many good cards). warrants should make sense (so good analytics > bad cards). warrants should also be extended properly (so I don't have to read your cards just to understand your argument). the threshold for adequately responding to an argument is determined by the quality of its warrants.

general things:

default util, drop the arg/reasonability, no rvis, epistemic modesty

please do impact calculus and judge instruction. otherwise I will disappoint you (and annihilate your speaks) and then everyone is sad

stop reading terrible theory arguments.

won't judge kick unless you say "the status quo is always an option" or something along those lines

no such thing as 0% risk but there is such a thing as risk low enough to be irrelevant

link turn on the DA doesn't require the aff to win uq (bc if that were true uq would overwhelm the link), but winning uq puts the link turn argument in a better place

read defense with an impact turn (also i like impact turns)

durable fiat solves "trump doesn't do the aff" but not "local governments don't enforce the plan"

most schools don't fund debate so stop acting like that's the only reason education matters.

k affs get perms

if your satire aff isn't funny it doesn't solve and I'll presume neg after the 1ac

ks need links more nuanced than state bad and affs need answers more nuanced than state good

k rotb are bad and you shouldn't need one to win (doesn't mean you concede util, just don't overrely on totally excluding aff offense)

if the 2nr on framework says "tva+risk of limits da" there's a solid 80% chance I'll negate

tech over truth

here are my thoughts on things:

very true:

oppression bad

existentialism/Nietzsche vs phil affs

nibs bad

plans good (this means it's very hard to win T if the only t aff under your interp is whole res)

object fiat bad (e.g. advantage is china war and cp is "china doesn't go to war")

the perm in most k v k debates with an aff that isn't just a 6 min impact turn to framework

probably true but beatable:

hege bad

cap bad

nuke war causes extinction

framework vs k affs

>2 condo bad (1 condo cp is 1 condo, 1 cp w 7 individually condo planks is way more than 7 condo)

cp theory vs sus counterplans (consult cps bad, non state actor agent cps bad)

probably untrue but winnable:

hege good

cap good

trump irreparably wrecked soft power

sketchy impact turns (dedev, co2 ag)

"limits are a prison" disads to framework

that politics disad you haven't updated since camp

<= 2 condo bad

very untrue:


bad/friv theory (afc, aspec on usfg topics, font size)

fiat double bind


avg is 28.5

rounds to 30 if you hold a solid zizek impression the whole round (and if you're rly good ig)

rounds to 29 if your speech makes arjun's astral projection watching over my shoulder cry tears of joy

rounds to 28 if you make minor (but still loss-worthy) mistakes

loss 19 for being explicitly racist/sexist/etc.

loss 0 for clipping (claim stops round, need recording of speech, and all the other stuff everyone else says)

Benjamin Barov Paradigm

6 rounds

Last updated Berkeley 2019

Add me to the email chain: benbarov@gmail.com

I was a policy debater at Niles North High School for 4 years, currently I'm a student at USC (not debating). I would say 70% of my 2NRs in high school were politics and case, so that's my background.

Ways to increase your speaker points:

specific neg strategies, especially if you have specific links to the aff on the K

pronouncing Reuters correctly

sending out the email chain before the start time, the earlier the better

starting the round before the start time

Ways to decrease your speaker points:

the words "pre-fiat" and "post-fiat"

"time starts...NOW!"

"cold conceded"

"ok judge..."

"where in your evidence does it say..."

pronouncing reuters incorrectly

Biggest one: asking to send out a new doc without the cards the other team didn't read

(marked docs are OK)

asking to send out a doc with the overview/analytics

(interps and CP text is kosher)

"which evidence did you not read"


First and foremost you need to tell me on what grounds I should evaluate each piece of ev. I'll read all the evidence at the end of the round and if no one tells me what I should do with it then its much harder and so much less fun for me.

My default is that the only two reasons to reject the team are T and conditionality. It would be difficult to convince me otherwise.

The most important part of T are the case lists each side presents because that gives me a good vision of the topic each of you bring. Impacting your argument is especially important on T.

Mike Bietz Paradigm

Head Coach: Harvard-Westlake School, Los Angeles CA | mbietz@hw.com

Use speechdrop.net for sharing speech documents. No more email or flashdrive problems. The affirmative should have this ready to go before the round starts.

Jonah Feldman, coach at UC Berkeley, summed up a lot of what I have to say about how I evaluate arguments


I do not believe that a dropped argument is necessarily a true argument

I am primarily interested in voting on high quality arguments that are well explained, persuasively advanced, and supported with qualified evidence and insightful examples. I am not interested in voting on low quality arguments that are insufficiently explained, poorly evidenced, and don't make sense. Whether or not the argument was dropped is a secondary concern...

How should this effect the way I debate?

1) Choose more, especially in rebuttals. Instead of extending a lot of different answers to an advantage or offcase argument, pick your spots and lock in.

2) If the other team has dropped an argument, don't take it for granted that it's a done deal. Make sure it's a complete argument and that you've fully explained important components and implications of winning that argument.

His full paradigm: https://www.tabroom.com/index/paradigm.mhtml?judge_person_id=6366

More stuff:

I never thought I'd have to say this, but you have to read aloud what you want me to consider in the round. Paraphrasing doesn't count as "evidence."

The affirmative probably should be topical.

I think that I'm one of the few circuit LD judges who votes affirmative more than I vote negative. I prefer an affirmative that provides a problem and then a solution/alternative to the problem. Negatives must engage. Being independently right isn't enough.

I would probably consider myself a policy-maker with an extremely left bent. Answering oppression with extinction usually doesn't add up for me. I'll take immediate, known harms over long term, speculative, multi-link impacts 90 out of 100 times. This isn't paradigmatic so much as it is negatives failing to engage the affirmative.

Given my propensity to vote affirmative and give the affirmative a lot of leeway in defining the scope of the problem/solution, and requiring the negative to engage, I'd suggest you take out the 3 minutes of theory pre-empts and add more substance.

Topicality is probably not an RVI, ever. Same with Ks. Today I saw someone contend that if he puts defense on a Kritik to make debate a safe space, the judge should vote for him because he'll feel attacked.

Cut your presumption spikes. It's bad for debate to instruct judges not to look for winning arguments. It also encourages debaters to make rounds unclear or irreconcilable if they are behind on actual issues.

Where an argument can be made "substantively" or without theory, just make it without theory. For example, you opponent not having solvency isn't a theory violation. it just means they can't solve. Running theory flips the coin again. So it's both annoying and bad strategy. Other examples might include: Plan flaws, no solvency advocate, and so on. Theory IS the great equalizer in that it gives someone who is otherwise losing an argument a chance to win.

Cross-x cannot be transferred to prep time.

Some annoyances:

- Not letting your opponents answer a question. More specifically, male debaters who have been socialized to think its ok to interrupt females who have been socialized not to put up a fight. If you ask the question, give them a chance to answer.

- Ignoring or belittling the oppression or marginalization of people in favor of smug libertarian arguments will definitely not end up well for you.

- People who don't disclose or they password protect or require their opponents to delete speech documents. I'm not sure why what you read is private or a secret if you've read it out loud. The whole system of "connected" kids and coaches who know each other using backchannel methods to obtain intelligence is one of the most exclusionary aspects of debate. This *is* what happens when people don't disclose. I'll assume if you don't disclose you prefer the exclusionary system.

Some considerations for you:

- if you’re reading such old white male cards that you have to edit for gendered language, maybe consider finding someone who doesn’t use gendered language... and if you notice that ONLY white men are defending it, maybe consider changing your argument.

- if you find yourself having to pre-empt race or gender arguments in your case, maybe you shouldn't run the arguments.

Abbey Chapman Paradigm

4 rounds

I coach @ Harker. Please start an email chain before the round - aacchapman@g.ucla.edu

here are some thoughts i have:

0) if the 2nr is split that is rarely a great sign for speaker points

1) i do not think debates where the affirmative does not clarify until the 1ar whether they operate under comparative worlds or truth testing are productive - i will assume a comparative worlds paradigm unless the 1ac justifies otherwise - the 1ar cannot shift to truth-testing without an indication of that interpretive claim in the 1ac.

2) toss me on the email chain: aacchapman@g.ucla.edu

3) i am not going to vote on an impeachment impact unless you tell me how we get from a 51-49 gop senate to 67 senators voting to remove trump from office - absent that warrant, i will not grant you "impeachment proceedings remove trump from office."

4) miscellaneous, but i do not understand why the aff doesnt get perms in a method debate - never seen a compelling warrant - default assumption on my part is that the aff does and its an uphill battle to convince me otherwise

5) the phrase "evidence ethics" means something - if someone says it and their opponent clarifies "is this an evidence ethics challenge," i understand this to mean that the debate ends - whoever has made the accusation wins if i believe the evidence ethics violation is correct, they lose if i believe the accused did not commit an evidence ethics violation - i will not independently end the round if the accused does not ask for this - if they do, i am happy to - words matter and evidence ethics matters

6) slow down on theory - will say slow twice, after that it is on you if i cannot flow it - i will miss your arguments and feel very comfortable disregarding them regardless of whats in the doc.

7) please dont read false politics disads in front of me i will be angry i keep up with politics i will know if you are lying

8) i am not particularly compelled by the insistence that the negative or affirmative answer t/k first in cx or theory arguments deriving from it

9) i will not vote for a kritik i do not understand

10) i have a good ear for when clipping is occurring - if i suspect it is, i will follow along in the speech doc - if i determine i am correct, the person clipping will lose. to be very clear, this does not necessitate the opponent making a clipping accusation - i feel very comfortable making this adjudication on my own.

11) one notable contradiction in my thinking - i am very receptive to semantics bad claims on t (not into nebel t) but also pretty receptive to text of the interp/text of the rotb/plan flaw args - i generally think that when issues arise in those 3 things, they are a result of students not giving much thought to them which is a shame bc all 3 are pretty important in my view - well crafted interps, as well as cxes that isolate plan flaws/interp issues will be rewarded (this doesnt mean i like /bad/ plan flaw args.............)

12) if you suspect that i may need to look at interps/counter interps you read, those should be flashed before the speech [likely applies to perms as well]- i will not look at interps that are written down at the end of the round and will just evaluate the t debate based on what i have written on my flow.

13) given how clear it is to me that no one could flow theory as it is delivered, i am cool w debaters tossing out a "slow" at their opponents if they can't flow at top speed

just do you i guess, specifics for each event are down below


this used to be an extensive set of rules please just flash well i have no patience for inefficient flashing
its not prep but if it takes more than 30 seconds it will make me angry

Practices Trigger Warnings

Debaters reading positions about suicide, depression/specific mental health, sexual violence, or any similarly traumatic issue, the onus is on them to ask those in the room permission to read the position. Spectators may leave, but judges and opponents do not have that option, meaning there is an expectation that if one of them objects to the triggering subject, that the debater will not read that position. If a debater does not adjust their strategy after being asked to, they will start the round with a 25. If you do not ask before round, but someone is triggered, speaks will similarly be docked. If there is no trigger warning but no one is triggered, the round can continue as normal.

The question for what necessitates a trigger warning is difficult to objectively delineate - if you have a reasonable suspicion someone could be negatively impacted by your position, ask before you read it - explicit narratives are probably a good starting point here. Trigger warnings are contentious in debate but I've seen students negatively impacted in rounds because they were not present and have engaged in conversations with other coaches that lead me to conclude something along these lines is necessary. At the very least, debate is (or should be) a 'safe space', and I believe this is a necessary first step towards achieving that goal. Feel free to discuss this before the round if you are worried it will become an issue in round.

This (admittedly strangely) probably means I'm not the judge for "must read a trigger warning" shells - they often make debate rounds uncomfortable and i have seen them leveraged in ways that make debate spaces unsafe - if no one was triggered, don't spend your time on that shell.


This article is very good at articulating my views on the importance of trigger warnings
It is not up for debate that if someone was triggered on account of your failure to adequately make use of trigger warnings, you'll be punished through speaks and/or the ballot


  • Clarity is important, and I’ll prompt you if need be. Slow down for tags and emphasize authors.
  • debaters blazing through a doc of analytics without pausing can only hurt them, so you should slow down on theory dumps - it's on you if i miss one of your theory blips and i'm not going to call for theory analytics except for the exact text of interps - will shout slow on theory and you should heed that advice
  • Additionally, nothing is more impressive than a slow, efficient debater winning the line-by-line against a fast opponent.
  • slow down at the very least on the tags, especially when reading dense philosophical positions
  • I'll say clear twice - speaks will be deducted after this
  • pay attention to non-verbal cues from me


  • clarity is important for high speaks but more important than how you sound is making strategic decisions in the 2AR/NR;
  • don't go for 6 arguments if one is sufficient to win the round, don't waste time addressing all 4 levels of the debate if you're clearly winning the top 2, don't read unnecessary theory, etc.
  • give a strategic and efficient 1AR,
  • don't go top speed through the 2NR if you don't have to, a slow mastery of the line-by-line is just as if not more impressive than extending every argument on the flow.
  • If any of this is not clear enough for you, feel free to ask before rounds and I'll tell you how my speaks have been distributed at that specific tournament.


  • a weird paradigmatic issue that shift from judge to judge - i think i'm a bit more lenient on extensions for the affirmative but there's little leniency on the 2nr - you should be clearly impacting every extension you make when you make it especially if you want me to vote on it
  • i don't think you have to extend the plan text explicitly if there is an implicit discussion of the advocacy during things like the extension of solvency, but it certainly will not hurt you
  • on the question of theory - similar to how you're expected to extend standards and voters, i do think its important to extend interpretations here, especially in a competing interps debates - i dont know that itll necessarily lose you the round if you dont, but ill be willing to listen to a 2ar story about how your standards arent explicitly impacted back to an interp - keep that in mind
  • dont re-read your ac or nc taglines for extensions - bad practice and rarely does this include an explanation of the warrants.



go for it, do it well
have a framework
perms are good, you should have explicit perm texts and you have them written down before the speech starts

will not grant you the perm if i am uncertain about the perm text bc the articulation between 1ar and 2ar was different
(perm texts should be more than "perm do both")


if you’re going to read a k make sure you can explain it, your explanation will always be the most important thing. K’s should have an explicit alternative, though what form that takes is up to the debater reading the criticism.
[The best form of kritik also has a topic-specific link, the more specific the better, please don’t read generic kritiks for the hell of it].
you should substantively engage kritiks when answering them, reading a lot of non-responsive arguments and hoping one of them gets dropped is a bad strategy
ask questions if anything is unclear
i really dont understand baudrillard in debate rounds i have tried and i just cant wrap my head around it feel free to try to be the one to change that but it is... an uphill battle


do w/e, i am here for it if you justify it

Skep/permissibility/all your tricky args

i'm not the judge for it


i will presume negative if they defend the status quo - if they read a cp or a kritik, then presumption shifts to the affirmative
speech times do not change this


  • I default to theory as a question of competing interpretations though I can be persuaded otherwise as long as you clearly warrant/impact out your arguments (this probably means im down with the RVI on c.i. but im very skeptical of the rvi on reasonability (i.e. I assume counter-interps are offensive unless you justify why they're not) )
  • I'm more than happy to listen to 6 minutes of theory in the 2nr, just do it well
  • Make sure your counter-interps are competitive/that your interps actually exclude the position you're reading them against - low threshold for semantic i meet's on poorly worded interpretations
  • Not the judge for Nebel T
  • i will likely be easily compelled by a "debaters should not bracket evidence" argument - i have grown sympathetic to this argument as abuses become increasingly egregious
  • not sure how i feel about 2ar theory but wont rule it out on face

I don’t think there is an implicit role of the ballot in the debate space, which means all debaters must be ready to justify whatever they assume the RotB is, as well as why they presume that certain arguments (theory for example) should always be evaluated as the top layer of the debate.

Any questions at all, ask before round, and above all, do what you’re most comfortable with, don’t just read something because you think I’ll enjoy it

Lucas Clarke Paradigm

3 rounds

Email is lucas@debatedrills.com

DebateDrills Coach: Please follow this link for more info on that


Updates 2019-20

1. I will not be looking at documents until after the round. This means a couple of things for you

-Speaks are now something I care about. If I clear you 3x, you're down a full point and I'm probably no longer listening.

-You will probably speak closer to a regular pace than at your top speed - think 70%

-I flow author names and tags, but prefer you reference the authors name on extension

2. I know very little about the topic. I don't do topic research these days.

3. I am officially not smart/invested enough to care about the ins and outs of this nebel question. I think it's a dressed up predictability impact and couldn't care less beyond that.


Read basically whatever you want. You should be able to defend your opinion in front of me and your opponent should be able to reject said opinion.

If your team has decided they have a non-disclosure policy/advocate that your opponent reads your full cite before the round instead of giving them tag+first three last three you can go ahead and strike me.

Framework/Performance/Dense K/tricks-3 or below


I like speed.

I presume neg.

New in the 2 responses to spikes/args like plan flaw I'm lenient about.

Comparative Worlds>Truth Testing. Avoid the latter in front of me for the most part.

I’ll most likely hack for util in a framework debate.

Non-T affs are not the A-strat for me. Your aff is not a survival strategy and you're going to struggle to prove solvency. Not necessarily that you can’t read them but I buy T. Especially if you drop the specific net benefits and try to go big picture because that ends up being a bunch of conceded offense that nobody ever weighs against and it’s very sloppy.

My favorite round is a policy approach from the aff with neg going for something along the lines of CP/DA/K/relatively legit shell. Not altogether necessarily.

I've decided I have a high threshold for extensions. It's not that I won't grant you a shit extension and thus impact, it's that most extensions seem to leave me with no concept of the impact or how I'm framing it. This is work that I really really don't want to have to do.


Default Competing interps/Drop the Debater/No RVI.

I think truth>tech in certain theory debates.

Semantics always second to pragmatics: don’t go for nebel go for limits.

Reasonability brightlines are good

Do weighing. Anyone who says they can pick out individual stuff from the shell is probably lying, so big picture weighing is extremely important.

Fairness is a voter; however, if the violation is mini I’ll easily vote on the impact turns.

CX does check.

Deven Cooper Paradigm

High school debate: Baltimore Urban Debate League

College debate: Univ of Louisville then Towson Univ

Grad work: Cal State Fullerton

Current: Director of Debate at Long Beach State (CSULB)

Email: Devenc325@gmail.com

Speaker Scale

29.5-30: one of the best speakers I expect to see this year and has a high grade of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, Talent, and Swag is on 100.

29.1 - 29.5: very good speaker has a middle grade of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, Talent, and mid-range swag.
29: quite good speaker; low range of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, Talent, and mid-range swag.

28.4 - 28.9: good speaker; may have some above average range/ parts of the C.U.N.T.S acronym but must work on a few of them and may have some issues to work out.

28 - 28.3: solid speaker; needs some work; probably has average range/ parts of the C.U.N.T.S acronym but must work on a few of them and may have some issues to work out.

27.1 - 27.5: okay speaker; needs significant work on the C.U.N.T.S acronym.

< 27: you have done something deeply problematic in this debate like clipping cards or violence.

Judging Proper

I am willing to hear any arguments that are well explained and impacted and relate to how your strategy is going to produce scholarship or policy action. I will refer to an educator framework unless told otherwise..This means I will evaluate the round based on how you tell me you want it to be framed and I will offer comments on how you could make your argument better after the round. Comparison, Framing, OFFENSE is key for me.

I avoid the privileging of certain teams or styles over others because that makes debate more unfair, uneducational, and makes people not feel valued or wanted in this community.

I judge debates according to the systematic connection of arguments rather than solely line by line…BUT doesn’t mean if the other team drops turns or other arguments that I won’t evaluate that. They must be impacted and explained. PLEASE always point out reason why the opposing team is bad and have contextualized reasons for why they have created a bad impact. I DO vote on framework and theory arguments….I’ve been known to vote on Condo

Don’t try to adapt to how I used to debate if you genuinely don’t believe in doing so or just want to win a ballot. If you are doing a performance I will hold you to the level that it is practiced, you have a reason for doing so, and relates to the overall argument you are making…Don’t think “oh! I did a performance in front of Deven I win.” You are sadly mistaken if so.

Overall I would like to see a good debate where people are confident in their arguments and feel comfortable being themselves and arguing how they feel is best. I am not here to exclude you or make you fell worthless or that you are a "lazy" intellectual as some debaters may call others, but I do like to see you defend your side to the best of your ability

A few issues that should be clarified:

Paperless: Prep time ends when the flash is out of your computer. Any malfunctioning means your prep has begun again. If the opponent you are facing doesn't have a laptop you must have a viewing one or give up yours....do not be classist GOSH...

Framework and Theory: I love smart arguments in this area. I am not inclined to just vote on debate will be destroyed or traditional framework will lead to genocide unless explained very well and impacted. There must be a concrete connection to the impacts articulated on these and most be weighed. I will not vote on conditionality good alone…You better point out the contradictions in the 2AC/1AR. I am persuaded by the deliberation arguments and topical version of the Aff.

Performance: It must be linked to an argument that is able to defend the performance and be able to explain the overall impact on debate or the world itself. Please don’t do a performance to just do it…you MUST have a purpose and connect it to arguments. Plus debate is a place of politics and args about debate are not absent politics sometimes they are even a pre-req to “real” politics, but I can be persuaded otherwise. You must have a role of the ballot or framework to defend yourself or on the other side say why the role of the ballot is bad. I also think those critics who believe this style of debate is anti-intellectual or not political are oversimplifying the nuance of each team that does performance. Take your role as an educator and stop being an intellectual coward.

Topic/Resolution: I will vote on reasons why or why not to go by the topic...unlike some closed minded judges who are detached from the reality that the topics chosen may not allow for one to embrace their subjectivity or social location. This doesn’t mean I think talking about puppies and candy should win, for those who dumb down debate in their framework args in that way. You should have a concrete and material basis why you chose not to engage the topic and linked to some affirmation against racism/sexism/homophobia/classism/elitism/white supremacy and produces politics that are progressive.

High Theory K: i.e Hiediggar, Zizek, D&G, Butler, Arant, and their colleagues…this must be explained to me in a way that can make some material sense to me as in a clear link to what the aff has done or an explanation of the resolution…I feel that a lot of times teams that do these types of arguments assume a world of abstract that doesn’t relate fully to how to address the needs of the oppressed that isn’t a privileged one. However, I do enjoy Nietzsche args that are well explained and contextualized. Offense is key with running these args and answering them.

Disadvantages: I’m cool with them just be well explained and have a link/link wall that can paint the story…you can get away with a generic link with me if you run politics disads. Disads on case should be impacted and have a clear link to what the aff has done to create/perpetuate the disad. If you are a K team and you kick the alt that solves for the disads…that is problematic for me.

Counterplans: They have to solve at least part of the case and address some of the fundamental issues dealing with the aff’s advantages especially if it’s a performance or critical aff…I’m cool with perm theory with a voter attached.

Race/ Identity arguments: LOVE these especially from the black/Lantinx perspective, but this doesn’t mean you will win just because you run them like that. I like to see the linkage between what the aff does wrong or what the aff has perpetuated. I’m NOT likely to vote on a link of omission.

Case Args: Only go for case turns…they are the best and are offensive , however case defense may work. If you run a K or performance you need to have some interaction with the aff to say why it is bad.

Eric Deng Paradigm

6 rounds

Last Update: Pre-Peninsula/Harvard Westlake 2020

- Please set-up the email chain before the round starts. I will be irritated if you ask me for my email 🙃. If you do have to ask for my email, don't. I'll just ask for relevant cards after the debate.

- I know a bit about the topic because I taught at camp, but don't assume I know acronyms.

- Probably start a little slower. The last tournament I judged was Bronx and I have not debated since camp this past summer.

- I find that I have a habit of protecting the 2nr. If I have to ask if the neg could have predicted the wild spin in the 2ar, chances are they couldn't have and you should prepare your 2ar accordingly.

- No I do not understand the hottest new k so please explain or do not read it at all. You will definitely like my decision better either way. laughing

- tech>truth -- dropped arguments are true, but you have to tell me why it being true wins you the round/is important. If you're upset after the round about x dropped argument, this is probably why.

San Marino High School 18

NYU 22


getting a new doc is prep, otherwise you should learn to flow

General --

I debated LD and got 5 bids to the TOC and reached octas my senior year. I read arguments mostly on the policy/k spectrum. I did policy in college for a year as a 2A. I've taught at VBI and TDI.

I could care less about what the 1AC/1NC was. I care more about how the arguments are explained and impacted out in later speeches. That's not to say I don't care about the technical aspects of the debate, but one liners are not complete arguments. I get frustrated when this doesn't happen which may mean a more frustrating decision for you.

Clarity >>>>> speed (especially on theory/phil/spikes). Debate is still a communicative activity and that requires that you go at a speed that is understandable and flowable. I'm far from a flowbot and its something you should be aware of.

I thought I would be more ideological, but I've slowly stopped caring as I judged. Chances are I'm tired and only want you to make the debate easy. Bad arguments (mostly theory) are annoyances.

Some particularly bad arguments I've heard so far (this is a working list) :

"neg limits good"

"neg may not [insert 1nc here]"

"neg may not read dispo counterplans"

"only have to affirm under one indexical"

"vote for me because I am [x identity category]"

"must disclose round reports"

"if i win i get rvis then i should win off an rvi because its an implicit counter interp"

Reading these theory arguments doesn't constitute a loss, just that your odds of beating back the intuitive responses are low. I don't hate theory as a strategic tool, but when there is clearly a better debate to be had, I tend to give leeway to answering these arguments. If they are poorly answered and nicely executed however, you won't be punished, but I still won't be happy.

Outside of your usual gutcheck of "bad" arguments, below are just some thoughts on how I view certain aspects of debate.

For some more background surrounding my thoughts on debate, it might be beneficial to reference some of my debate influences: Raffi Piliero, Jong Hak Won, Li-Ren Chang, Kamiran Dadah, Devane Murphy.

My peers that I agree mostly with: Danielle Dosch, Whit Jackson, Sean Fahey, Julian Kuffour, Ronak Ahuja.

Non-negotiable: I will not vote on arguments that require me to make a referendum on any debater as a person outside of debate.

Philosophy/Traditional Frameworks

I'm less familiar with philosophy so you should slow down and explain things rather than blitz out your preclusion blocks. That being said, I think I would be a fine judge for you if you know your theory and attempt to explain it relative to their's as opposed to a mish mosh of "hijacks" and "pre-reqs". Quantity>Quality is the aspect of traditional LD debate that I hate the most so if you avoid that you'll most likely be fine. Tricks are fine, but the worse the argument is the less I care about it.


Theory is also something that you shouldn't be going full speed on. I suck at flowing and if I miss something than its on you. I find the answer to most theory arguments are that it is the role of negative to make the debate hard for the aff and vice versa. I recognize that this is a slippery slope and arbitrary, but common sense should tell you what this applies to more. Refer to the list for a general idea. I'm not very amenable to plans bad a la nebel, t-plural is a much better argument in front of me.

Counterplan theory is the only theory that people should really be reading (outside of variants of tricks bad). My leanings are condo good, advantage cps good, agent cps good (states, courts, congress, etc.), and the rest are determined by solvency advocates. If you have a solvency advocate, it's most likely legitimate and you should be prepared to debate it.

Disclosure is almost always a good thing, but I'm receptive to arguments otherwise. Exceptions are usually reserved for explicit criticisms of the practice of disclosure (e.g. surveillance). It's probably arbitrary which I'll be the first to admit, but you know it when you see it.

FW v K Aff/Plan v K

I think my ideological tendencies regarding framework versus k affs is slightly neg. This is not to say I'm 80-20 FW, but more like 55-45 FW. Smart debating should overcome any of my ideological biases. Fairness is an impact, but it might not necessarily be the best one to go for depending on the debate. Both going for framework and debating against it should involve a checklist: TVA, truth-testing, skills, fairness first, etc. are all things that need to be answered. The same goes for being aff against the k.

All this being said, I judge every debate with the assumption that every argument made is made with the intention of winning the debate/ballot. What that means for your position, I don't know, but I think it's a relevant tidbit that probably has to be pointed out at some point in the debate.


I give comparatively lower speaks, not because I thought every debater I judged was bad but that speaker points inflation is disingenuous and denies other potentially deserving debaters opportunities at a tournament.

Adapting to a style of debate that I may like may help your speaks, but it may also be to your detriment. Similarly, you may debate in a manner that I hate, but, if executed well, may be deserving of higher speaks. Point is, your style will not have an impact on your speaks, only your strategic vision and execution. Make my job easy and I'll make your's easy.

I will never give 30s unless you fundamentally changed how I view debate/are the best debater I have ever seen.

Danielle Dosch Paradigm

2 rounds

***Below are the preferences I had while debating. They do not have a significant impact on the way I evaluate debates. I’m just going to vote for whoever wins.

Update: There is no "flow clarification" time slot in a debate. If you want to ask your opponent what was read/not read, you must do it in CX or prep -- better yet, flow!

email: danidosch@gmail.com


Cross ex is a speech, not extra prep — treat it as such.

Labeling an argument a “voting issue” does not make it a voting issue.

Clipping cards is cheating, and you will receive a loss 25 if you do it.

Prep ends when the email has been sent. Don’t steal prep - you’re not sneaky.

Don’t be annoying, treat your opponents with respect, and if you appear to have a lot of background knowledge on the subject that is being discussed I will improve speaks.

Speaks range generally: 27-29.5 — 30s are unattainable — there’s no ceiling on excellence.


K vs. aff —

Your kritik should disagree with and disprove the aff. You should include a link wall that pulls lines from the aff, and you should answer the case. The Kritik should outweigh and turn the case and incorporate other K tricks as well. The 2NR should explain the thesis of the position and an explanation of the above.

Aff vs. K —

The case probably outweighs, and don’t be afraid of staking the 2ar on that. Unless your aff is set up for the link turn, impact turn everything you can – security, heg, neolib – excluding that which would be morally repugnant. Most importantly though, make the debate about your aff. So often the aff seems to forget that the onus is on the negative to disagree with the aff, not the other way around. 


My favorite neg strategies include these. It should solve the aff and avoid a tangible disadvantage. Answer the perm by isolating a DA or explaining why it is severance or intrinsic – “perm is illogical” isn’t an argument and “CP solves better” isn’t a DA to the perm. 1-2 condo is good, 3+ is pushing it. I am pretty neutral on cheaty CPs – generally, I think you should just defend your aff, but I am not predisposed towards voting against theory arguments. Judge kick only if you tell me to, so tell me to!


My favorite neg strategies also include these. 2NR should be fore fronted with impact calculus. Explain why the DA turns and outweighs the case before the case turns the DA, and rather than explaining why probability or magnitude should be prioritized categorically, explain it in terms of strength of link.


**You must do it.** Do it well and you’ll see a boost to speaks. Your evidence should be recent and of high quality, and don’t undervalue the utility of smart analytics!


T vs. Non-topical Affs —

Don’t be afraid to go one off framework in front of me, but you should definitely answer the case (as always!). I think fairness is best articulated as an internal link, but procedural fairness definitely matters to some degree in itself. Include a robust topical version of the aff.

Non-topical Affs vs. T —

It’s helpful to extend a counter-interp that mitigates some of their fairness offense and isolate offense as to why the exclusion of your aff and the like would be more detrimental than a world with slightly less predictability and increased prep burden.

Non-topical Affs vs. K —

Not a very good judge for these debates -- exception to this is probably cap.


If your argument is frivolous, the threshold for your opponent’s responses drops pretty significantly. If you are debating a frivolous argument, use reasonability to your favor. Other than that, the way you debate theory/topicality shouldn’t differ drastically from the way you’d conduct a plan/CP debate.


I honestly enjoy these debates when executed well. I am partial towards epistemic modesty, but that can be changed with in-round arguments. I will be most pleased if you explain your philosophical framework as reason why your offense matters and not a preclusive impact filter. If your strategy is to concede the case and just answer framework, I am not the best judge for you, but if you mitigate the probability of the case (notice a trend?) through defense or an advantage CP, I will be thrilled. Please don’t extend your framework card by card — begin with an overview that includes the thesis of your position and a summary of your offense.

David Escobar Paradigm

6 rounds


paradigms should constantly evolve - will update as i develop further views of debate and the world.

add me to the email chain - dialupdavid@berkeley.edu

second year policy debater, currently @ uc berkeley, debated 4 years in hs.

For those who are scrambling to do prefs last minute, below is a tldr (we've all been there)

If you have time to do prefs, please read this tldr and the "long version" -

do you! I will evaluate any style willingly, i'm coming in familiar with most styles of debate and experience coaching a few events (namely policy, LD, and parli). Feel free to spread, i will be able to handle top speed, but keep in mind that speaker points are going to be affected by lack of enunciation or clarity. Many of my 2nr's are spent going for the K (that doesn't mean yours should be) but I was pretty flex early on, so debate as you would on any other day, as long as it is respectful to everyone in the room. DON’T let my preferred style of debate affect the arguments you read in front of me. I am of more use to you if the rfd is going to be centered around the k and I only include my argument preference to be clear about that. Debate should be a space to develop your agency or recognize and tackle the lack thereof, that’s my only preconception about the forwarding of any argument in a round.

Tech > Truth but if your "flow winning" arguments are rooted in bullshit then you'll have a hard time winning my ballot (i.e. "they conceded the sky is green", wouldn't inform my ballot). Tell me why a conceded argument informs and structures my decision on that specific flow. In most instances, win the flow, win the round - unless you do something that makes the debate space very explicitly worse.

i may be facially expressive - so feel free to use that to your advantage.

Long Version:

Case Debate: I feel that neg case specifics are a lost craft in debate (from what i've seen in the time that I've been involved). I love a good case debate, if you have a very specific and offense based neg case then i will enjoy the round significantly more, if a significant portion of your 1 and 2nr's are case turns, i'm all ears. Less of a fan of case generics but I understand their utility and necessity.

For the aff, I find that a lot of high school debaters don’t extend their impacts, please do.

I am willing to vote neg on presumption, if the aff doesn't do anything, then convince me of that.

Style: I was a K debater who mainly stayed in the realm of "identity" based arguments and dabbled in post modernism - while there is a good chance that i have dived into a lot of the lit you're going to read in front of me, overviews and explanations should assume a more basic explanation (i will understand the complexities of your buzz words, but we all know that is not the most effective way to debate). The only reason I mention my preferred style of debate is so you know who you're preffing, that doesn't mean it should affect the arguments you read in front of me.

If you're more traditional policy, that's great too, I am not entirely politically incompetent (I hope) and will understand the scenarios in your ptx disads, etc.

Debate as you will. Unorthodox, traditional, while doing a handstand, it doesn't matter to me, i'll evaluate it. I won't lie and say im "tabula rasa", but my internal biases almost definitely won't be the reason you lose a round.

Please contextualize args, I beg of you, speaks will probably be affected by generic blocks but that doesn't mean that they cant win you the debate.

Reliance on cards is a common practice that i've noticed. My biggest suggestion is if you're caught between taking the time to articulate an argument well and reading a blippy card, don't read the card.

Evidence is not the end all be all of debate (or "true" claims) and some arguments do not require evidence to be valid.


I like creative procedurals - generic procedurals may be less well received by me but I understand their utility and necessity, you're probably going to have to win that the other team truly made the debate unfair and there's a high threshold for that in most situations for me. The reason why there is a high threshold stems from the lack of impact work I see on t/fw flows. I get it, your standards affect the way the debate plays out, but why does that matter? Impact it. If the impact work is weak, then i lean aff against t/fw.

A TVA never hurt anybody and is the best way to win my ballot on the T flow, but there is usually a high burden to "prove" that the tva solves the aff.

I will happily vote on condo, agent cp's bad, and arguments of the sort if argued convincingly. You can do this by isolating ways the other team made the debate unnecessarily difficult. Ex) reading condo and telling me "they say *this* on one off case and *this* on another, these two arguments vehemently disagree with each other". I am particularly more sympathetic than your common judge if work like this is done.

You are best off reading the most inclusive interp on t/fw that still excludes the instance of the 1ac. This makes your job a lot easier and garners you the most offense/minimizes the offense read against your interp.

I like non-traditional theory arguments.

K debate (on the aff and neg):

This is what I spend most of my time involved with. That doesn't mean read a K in front of me and you'll be rewarded, I hold a high threshold for K debate so butchering args may hurt speaks. Vice versa, a good k debate will boost speaks. These are probably my favorite debates to judge and where my RFD can serve you the best - I prefer very case centered link work and an application of the meta level descriptions in the world of the aff, contextualization is premium. Thinking of links as case disads or turns may help you frame the links in a way that is compelling to me.

Let me know when the overview is going to be long, I usually put them on another flow.

I will gladly vote for a k aff, if articulated well. I like k affs that are in the direction of the topic, but feel free to not relate to the topic at all (just know that this may come with additional challenges).

If you are a critique of the resolution - be ready to explain why discussions of the topic are bad and why the education you forward is valuable. Please give me a reason that you reject political intervention, the burden for this isn't too high from me, i know ptx and political hope aren't accessible to everyone.

You don't need to claim to solve the structure with your k aff, in fact, I am more compelled by affs that resolve individualized impacts or mend unique instances in debate.

Non Trad or "performance" Debate:

I am receptive of these arguments.

If you read a poem, rap, dance, perform a ritual, use a prop, play music or sing, etc. please employ this as offense! Don't do it to flower your speaks, extend these arguments in a way that informs my ballot and is direct offense to the presentations or responses you receive. Tell me why your performance is a representation of your affirmation or alt, do the solvency work.

I reward creativity, only if the above is done. Innovative arguments are always going to be my favorite to judge.

DA's + CP's:

I find most impact scenarios with ptx and assorted da's hard to buy, largely because internal link work is lacking, and if we're being honest with ourselves they're not probable. This doesn't mean i'm not going to vote for them if they're won.

Don't kid yourself and try and convincingly yell about how the probability is 100%, that doesn't do you any favors. Do decent internal link extension and employ case specific links (that are in the context of the aff's policy) and you'll be in good shape.

If the link is not in the context of the aff, at least do a decent job articulating how the policy warranted in the link evidence is similar to the aff.

Feel free to read any type of CP, I don't have any dislike towards a specific type, but I can be compelled by aff theory vs counterplans that are almost entirely the aff. This also includes theory vs PIC's, so be aware.

Make your cp's competitive and make sure they resolve at least a snippet of the aff's impacts, this should be a given.

I like creative and non-traditional cp's as a format.

Framing + Organization:

This is a highly important component of debates that I adjudicate, if you are winning the framing level of the debate then your impacts are most likely going to be prioritized. I usually like the framing to come at the top of a speech (feel free to put it elsewhere so long as you maintain an able-to-be-followed organization). This applies to most framing - from util to "ethics" or subject form based framing.

Organized and coherent structure to speeches will mean more generous speaks, this means sticking to your road map and suggesting where to put something that isn't so obvious on the flow.

If your overview is going to be longer than 2 minutes (it probably shouldn't be, but it happens) then let me know.

If you have any other questions that aren't covered here, or questions about the paradigm, feel free to ask in person.


solid humor may be rewarded with an additional .1 or .2 speaks, it keeps the debate interesting, don't make a joke out of something that is objectively not to be joked about. don't speak over your partner or “puppeteer”/“parrot” them, both speaks may be docked.

30 - you literally did nothing wrong, best speeches i've ever heard and you actively engaged with your partner.

29.5-29.9 - you deserve to be top speaker and have very few mistakes, or you did something really cool and original that i've never seen before and is good for debate (whatever that may mean).

29 -29.4 - you should be a top 10 speaker at the least, there was something important that needed to be worked on but other than that you were entirely solid.

28.5-28.9 - you will probably make it to elims at the tournament and/or you were putting in an effort and that effort is truly paying off, good speaker.

28-28.4 - there are some significant improvements to be made, but you were a decent speaker and may be a lower seed in elims.

27.5 - 27.9 - there were clarity/comprehension issues, argument matching may not have been the strongest, stride for improvement.

27 - 27.4 - ehhhh, speeches were disorganized and can use major improvement.

26.9 and below - you did something that vastly made the debate space worse.

Sean Fahey Paradigm

6 rounds

Benjamin Franklin ‘16, Tulane ‘20
Current Conflicts: The Brentwood School, Cypress Falls RK

Email: SeanFaheyLD@gmail.com (please put me on email chains and feel free to email me questions)

I debated for 4 years at Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans, LA. I competed at the TOC twice and got to finals of the CFL National Tournament my senior year.

In the past my paradigm has been very long and detailed, but I haven’t ever gotten any sense that that has lead to better rounds or better adaptation in front of me, so I’ve decided to keep it short and sweet.

I’m open to all argumentation and speed (clear speed, that is - I will shout clear). I like in-depth debates that emphasize critical and comparative analysis of evidence. Just reading a card is not really an argument to me, rebuttals need to have a clear, full extension of the arguments presented in your evidence and my willingness to evaluate extensions that are just reiterations of the tagline and author name is very small and defers how I evaluate that evidence to my discretion. This should also flag to you that I’m not a huge fan of blippy styles of argumentation, while debate is - in some sense - a game/competitive activity, I’d rather evaluate a somewhat scholastic engagement of ideas.

I think I’m generally very tab with my decisions but everyone says that and it kinda means nothing. That said, hateful/oppressive discourse is not my forte and I’m likely to punish this sort of discourse with my ballot decision and RFD.

In the past I have said I will hack for disclosure, but that is not true. I think open source disclosure is a very good thing and I find most attempts to avoid this norm as unpersuasive. That said, I have voted against disclosure theory many times on impact turns to fairness or transparency, given those arguments are won on the flow, of course. I think reading disclosure theory against debaters clearly out of the national circuit loop is pretty unkind and often voids engagement, so please don’t. That said, I think reading disclosure theory against novices/early varsity members of large programs on the wiki is acceptable because their coaches should tell them to do so/do so for them (especially if the rest of the team discloses) and sometimes these debates are the only way for people to learn.

In the same vein as my policy on disclosure theory, please do not spread out debaters who clearly can not spread. You can still win this way if you're really that much of a tryhard, but I will decimate your speaks because you're being an asshole. Be considerate and inclusive.

In the past I have said what I default to in terms of paradigms for theory and framework, but I’ve come to view this norm as assiduous and incentivizes lazy debating. You should have to justify everything necessary for you to win and if there’s any confusion, my RFD should clarify.

I usually flow CX. I like well-used CX time.

Please show down for plan texts, CP texts, theory interpretations, perm texts, or anything that has precise value in its wording.

I don’t disclose speaker points, but I’m definitely kind of a point fairy compared to others with similar judging experience.

Idk when it took so long to send an email, y’all should get better at this. I won’t count it as prep because there are often legitimate wifi issues at tournaments, but I’d really prefer it if you could handle ALL document creation in prep (organization and properly saving the doc) such that once you end prep you can begin your speech within a minute.

Because I think this is all people really care about now, here’s a few dispositions that I think will help pref if you’ve made it this far:

  • I’m 50-50 on Framework v Non-T affs and not necessarily because of my personal opinions on the matter.
  • I think fairness and education are voters in no particular order, I look at these issues similar to how epistemic modesty views ethical frameworks.
  • That said, I think epistemic modesty, as it is generally used, is pretty nonsensical. Don’t really understand weighing a deontic violation against a risk of an impact.
  • I think K affs should do something or place some theoretical weight in the act of affirmation. Pessimism based affs with no clear solvency mechanism (or definition of what solvency is in the eyes of the affirmative position) generally seem to be negative presumption arguments in my mind. Feel free to change my mind on this point. I’ve seen exceptions to this.
  • Please explain your permutations by illustrating a clear picture of the world it supposes.
  • Finally, can’t believe I have to say this, if you extend an impact you gotta weigh that shit. Don’t presume that I think extinction is worse than genocide, war, etc. because - tbh - I probably don’t.
  • I know I’m young and edgy and I think it’s cool to have passion for your positions, but try and be nice and accessible and use swear words tastefully (if one can imagine such a concept).
  • If I don’t get a real good explanation of the alternative and how it functions in the 2NR, I probably won’t vote for your K.
  • Asinine theory follows the pornography rule for me, you know it when you see and I reserve the right to make that determination and make my decision through that lens.
  • Have fun, take it easy, and make some jokes or something - your debate career is too short to take it too seriously.

Annie Gersh Paradigm

6 rounds

Updated 1/15/19

I debated for four years at Marlborough School (2012-2016) but have not judged or debated frequently since.

Please speak clearly, particularly during arguments you consider to be most important.

I default to a comparative worlds paradigm. I'm not really comfortable with truth testing paradigms so this probably wouldn't be smart to run in front of me. I am most familiar with policy style arguments - Plans, CPs, DAs. I'm fine with framework as long as you explain it well, especially in your extensions. I have a low threshold for extensions of dropped arguments (author name and brief warrant/tag). Please slow down for card names. I'll say clear but if I have to say it more than twice I'll start docking speaks. I really enjoy strong, strategic CX so use this time well. I won't vote on any offensive arguments, (e.g. genocide good, or anything racist/sexist).

I'd rather see a great, substantive round with lots of clash, evidence comparison, and strong weighing rather than theory. But, obviously if there's a flagrant abuse, then run theory. I typically default to a competing interps paradigm but I have no problem with reasonability as long as you explain why it's a good way to evaluate theory. Please slow down for interps/counter interps as I'll evaluate them based off of the text not the spirit. If you can prove the abuse is marginal and the theory is frivolous/unnecessary, a bit of offense is probably enough for theory to go away. I won't have a high threshold on how much offense you need to generate if the abuse is small.

Please include me on email chains anniegersh@gmail.com

Skyler Harris Paradigm

1 rounds

Hello, I’m Skyler (They/Them) (skylrharris917@gmail.com)

I coach and judge both Policy and LD debate

I coached Futures RA (Ronak Ahuja) for the past two years, we got a bunch of bids, and qualled twice. Also have coached multiple policy teams to bids & quals, always in Deep Elims. I currently am working with Oak Hall KZ (Kumail Zaidi) & Bellarmine EG (Eric Gottlieb)

I’ve worked with all styles of debate/literature, and I enjoy judging all styles of debate.

I love this activity and think it holds immense value, please be respectful to one another and please have fun.

******IMPORTANT NOTES*******

Debate is a game.

I only adjudicate the round I am watching, please leave your personal qualms, along with things that have happened out of the round, out of the round. Each debate is a new, hypothetical world in which students test theories, methods, and strategy against one another.

“Real World,” “Out of round spillover” claims are pretty ridiculous and nonetheless, counterproductive. That being said, as debate is a site of method testing- all impacts are illusory, and will be evaluated based on the level of impact comparison and warranted explanation done by the debaters. Debate is illusory. I am VERY sympathetic to the argument that believing debate directly influences actual real world policy = serial policy failure. I am also VERY sympathetic to the argument that believing K debate directly influences actual real world structures = ressentiment/reality denial/bad activism/annoying, delusional pseudo-intellectuals.

******note: I believe that using personal experiences as evidence under the guise that debate is a “space for real world change,” is quite awful, and unnecessarily uncomfortable.

However, I believe that personal experiences and personal modes of communication (poetry, music, dance, etc.) can be effectively used for strategic benefit in the context of debate as a winnable, simulated game.

Debate is not a site for "subject formation," nor should it ever be. The belief that it is, in my opinion, is harmfully delusional.

****another note for K debaters - I wholeheartedly believe, that “armchair philosophers” such as Baudrillard/Bataille, can accurately explain instances of gendered/racialized/etc. violence. I am not a fan of view-from-nowhere-esque indicts/arguments.


Other Stuff

Strategic Framing Wins Debates..

There is no tech vs. truth, there is only the truth which is produced by tech.

Technical debate is good debate, and if debate is not technical it is probably awful.

Strategic maneuvers, well placed theory arguments, etc. are integral to every style of debate.

Strategic concessions, i.e “picking and choosing” is the most important aspect of the rebuttal speeches.

I only vote for arguments that have well warranted impacts. Dropped arguments are true arguments, but that only matters if there is an offensive reason why it being true is a reason to vote aff/neg

Regardless of style, I HATE SCRIPTED DEBATE. The value of debate is found in technical execution, as well as spontaneous adaptation and strategical maneuvers that change over the course of a debate. I punish technical concessions, and reward debaters who adapt. If you read the same Overviews and blocks round after round, you will eventually get exposed.

If you go for framework, make it interesting please. K affs aren’t hard to beat, and many of them lack legitimate reasons to vote aff. The K makes debate better, but very few K affs do. It’s that simple. The best procedural impact is and will always be clash.

always a fan of voting neg on presumption if the aff does nothing

I’m generous with speaks, please don’t be stressed out.

Feel free to ask me anything, I love education, creativity, and a drive to become better.

Once again, remember to have fun!! Win or lose, life goes on and you will continue to be a bright individual. Stay calm, composed, and just be cool how you be cool.

Dontae Hill Paradigm

Here are the things that matter:

I did not debate as a student.

I have judged and coached PF and LD for 8 years.

I don’t lean towards any style of debate, just convince me why I should vote for you and you can win.

My favorite philosophy is Utilitarianism... just sayin’

Whit Jackson Paradigm

1 rounds

Add me to the chain: speechdocs@whitjack.me

conflicts: DebateDrills (roster here), Brentwood (class of 2018)



1) Disclose. It's is a bare minimum to win in front of me. I will probably require open source by TOC 2020.

2) I will not vote on any argument about something outside of the debate (disclosure is the only exception). Death good, arguments about your opponents appearance, and explicitly offensive actions end the round and get a L20.

3) Fair Play. Miscut evidence, clipping, reading ahead, outside communication, etc are cheating. Accusations without proof mean you lose. “Evidence ethics” ends the round and it’s decided on that alone.

4) I won't vote on arguments I can't understand in the speech they're first made. I don't flow from the doc. I'll slow/clear but if you don't adapt I'll give up and stop flowing until you do.

5) Prep ends when the doc is sent. Flow clarification is prep/CX. If you can't send a marked doc immediately once your speech ends you'll lose at least .5 speaks. Ditto for "mark the card there."

6) LD only has 2 constructive speeches. I will do my best not to vote on new arguments. I don't think the 1AR gets add-ons. I don't think the neg can read missing internal links or 6 new uniqueness arguments in the 2NR.


1) Technical debating matters far more than my subjective interpretation of the truth of an argument. Way too many debates I judged recently have come down to 1AR/2NR concessions. Arguments need warrants.

2) To be completely straightforward, I don't want to judge rounds about weird theory arguments, tricks, or most LD phil debates. I don't usually enjoy judging these debates and I don't think I'm very good at resolving them. The biggest exception to this is well-developed phil that doesn't rely on normatively implausible claims (these debates are rare, but among my favorites). I've gotten fairly tired of hearing "induction fails" or "8 reasons util collapses to permissibility".

3) Research and evidence quality is very important to me. Debaters who can effectively explain and compare evidence will do well in front of me. People are playing fast and loose with highlighting and overstating their evidence. If pointed out, I'm willing to hold the line on this.

4) Bad for aff vagueness. I like debaters who are willing to stake out a position and defend it! If the answer to "what does your aff do" only becomes clear late in the debate, I'll usually lean neg on questions of competition and solvency (provided the neg points this out).

5) I lean further neg than most on counterplan theory. Creative counterplans are underutilized. The best answer to most "cheating" counterplans (eg consult/delay) is competition rather than theory. Affs should think more about "aff key" warrants. Condo is probably good but 2NRs that mishandle it deserve to be punished. I default judge kick if the CP is condo (flag it so I don't forget).

6) If you read an advocacy, I'll hold you to defending it. "Not defending implementation" makes negative sense to me. Extra-topicality should lose to the TVA 10/10 times. You're probably better off reading a K aff than a franken-aff that tries to meet in the middle.

7) I like judging well executed T debates. I think the limits of the topic should be predictable and set by the topic's wording (I'm unlikely to exclude an affirmative without a definitional basis). Any version of T - Plans Bad is not very persuasive to me.

8) I have no preference in K Aff v T debates. I coach debaters on both sides of these and evaluate them like I would any other T debate. Neg: Fairness is far more persuasive than skills, don't read a 4 minute overview, don't rely on stupid args like truth-testing. Aff: Counter-define words and have a debateable counterinterp ("discussion of the topic", "only our aff", etc. wouldn't make sense in any other T debate). Justify why a model of debate with reduced predictability is preferable to a model that excludes _______.

9) K debates should have more investment into framework by both sides. Ks need to disprove the aff (FW contextualizes what this means). Affs shouldn't forget they have an aff. Negs shouldn't drop the case. Unless the alt explicitly includes the aff, it isn't a PIK. "Role of the ballot" doesn't mean anything.

10) Insert re-highlighting: sure

Akhil Jalan Paradigm

6 rounds

Email: a1jalan11@gmail.com

PV Peninsula Lincoln Douglas 2011-2015

Conflicts: PV Peninsula HS

Assistant Coach (2015-16 Season): PV Peninsula
Private Coach (2015-16 Season): Felix Tan
Instructor at VBI, 2015
Instructor at LADI, 2016

I debated LD for 4 years at PV Peninsula High School, qualifying to the TOC my sophomore, junior, and senior years.

I rarely judge these days (maybe 2-3 times a year) and am no longer actively involved in coaching or research. Don't assume I know what the common acronyms or jargon mean for the topic.

In general, read well-warranted and researched arguments, don't cheat, don't go for frivolous theory, and you should be fine. I am too lazy to check if a person has disclosed, but I will still enforce my rule of not giving above a 27 in speaker points if you point out that your opponent failed to do so.

In a sort of “big picture” manner, this is a set of defaults that I will have – if you make arguments to the contrary, then I’ll use those defaults instead.

1 – Epistemic modesty: arguments are assigned lower or higher credence values, not “won.” Instead of deciding which arguments “come first,” I’ll use your weighing arguments to assign greater or lesser credence to each source of offense. Ethical frameworks and role of the ballot arguments are also weighing.

2 – I have a strong conviction that debate is a comparison of two advocacies of some sort. This can be a plan and counterplan, two philosophical principles, two speech acts, or a theory interpretation and counter-interpretation, but for me to understand how arguments function I need to have an understanding of what both debaters defend. It seems logically impossible to evaluate a debate in which there is no comparison of something. This is rarely an issue, but it most often comes up in exceptionally strange K debates in which a debater might play music for the entire 1AC or something.

3 – The job of the aff is to prove the resolution or a subset of the resolution (a plan) to be good, and the neg’s job is to prove another policy option (or status quo) to be better. If it's topical for the affirmative to defend the status quo, I think the neg would have to offer a counterplan that's inherent, although I haven't thought about this much and am puzzled about how it might play out.

4 – Theory/T precludes substance (including the K) since it sets the rules for a fair/educational debate and a skewed round can’t be accurately evaluated.

5 – Offense does not have to link to a comprehensive normative framework to matter, but such arguments can be used to weigh impacts. If neither debater offers me an ethical framework, I’ll default to util.

Speaker Points
26 - You're a relatively bad novice.
27 - You're a relatively good novice/bad Varsity debater. You will definitely not clear.
28 - You will probably clear and get to early out-rounds.
29 - You'll definitely clear, and get to late out-rounds.
29.5 - You are the best debater of the year and will probably win the tournament.
30 - You are the best debater of all time and will probably win TOC this year.

Disclosure Rule: If you have not been disclosing for at least the duration of the tournament, your speaks will be evaluated normally but will be capped at a 27. I reserve the right to go lower. If you don't want your speaks to get tanked, please show me your disclosure page before/after the round to avoid the chance that I can't find it.

Yash Kamath Paradigm

6 rounds

ykamath [at] usc [dot] edu
can't judge: Wichita East, Loyola

Any questions please ask don't assume

Wichita East '15
USC '19
4 years HS policy, currently coaching Loyola policy

Important things:
1. Flashing is not prep.
2. Cross-x will be flowed. You will be held to what you say in cross-x.
3. Clipping cards, reading ahead in speech docs, falsifying evidence, all auto-losses.
4. Please disclose.
5. Stand/sit/dance/jog I don't care. Just look at me when you are speaking.
6. Arguments need warrants. No warrants = not an argument.
7. Please add me to the email chain, pocket box, hand me the flash drive, etc.

I will try my best not to intervene in a debate. Execute whatever strategy you are best at, and do it well. I will listen and evaluate almost every argument tabula rasa.
Here are my argument preferences:
Neg- Case list, impacts to your standards, and topical version of the aff are all very persuasive.
Aff- Reasonability is not as a persuasive as a robust defense of your great counter-interpretation and disads to their interp.

Neg- Explain the alt well. The link and impact story is usually what the neg is superb at, but if you don't explain the alt well, what the hell am I voting for? 2NC/1NR tricks are great if executed properly.
Aff- Impact turns, disads to the alt, and permutations are persuasive.

Neg- Happy with most, not a fan of process cps or generic word pics, but I will still vote for them if executed properly.
Aff- Solvency deficit, and defense to the net benefit (whatever page it is on), are very persuasive.

Neg- Turns case, and impact framing are very persuasive.
Aff- You must have offense on this page. With hard technical debating, I do believe in a possible 0 % risk of the disad.

Neg- Case turns, and case specific defense are very persuasive. A ton of generic impact defense not so much.
Aff- Your answers to case args should be fantastic, no excuses for a poor performance on something for which you have had unlimited prep.

Mostly lean neg, again interp and counter-interps are key.
2 condo is fine, 3 is still okay, 4 and my threshold for an aff theory arg will be very low.

K affs-
Aff- This is fine. Please explain what voting aff means, what you have to win for me to vote aff. 
Neg- Answer the case. T (content guidelines) not framework (performance guidelines), impact turns, and criticisms are very persuasive.

High speaker points:
1. Great strategic moves. Technical strength will serve you well.
2. Humor. Only if you are funny.
3. Great case debate.
4. Number/letter arguments.
5. Great evidence.

Low speaker points:
1. Not clear. Can't stand this. Hurts me, your partner, the other team, and the quality of the debate at the whole.
2. Really stupid arguments. If you have to ask if it meets the really stupid threshold then don't read it.

Don't be rude or obnoxious. In debate and in life.

JJ Kim Paradigm

1 rounds

Please add me on your email chains: jjkim96@gmail.com

The Harker School (San Jose, CA) | UC Berkeley ‘18 (Berkeley, CA) | Lexington HS ‘14 (Lexington, MA)

If you'd like to know my background knowledge regarding and/or willingness to vote for any argument without tipping your hand to your opponent, or have any concerns about the round re: safety/comfort, please send me an email or ask to speak to me privately. I'll happily answer any questions you have to the best of my abilities.

1 - Policy/LARP
1.5 - Security K, Cap/Neolib K
2 - Identity arguments (both aff and neg)
3 - Postmodern authors
Strike - Phil (for your sake), Tricks/frivolous theory (for my sake)

I've been increasingly losing patience for debaters who assume their judges will just flow off the doc. If you're unclear, I'll "clear" you. If your tags are too fast, I'll "slow" you. Please don't test my patience!

Some thoughts re: strategy

I like aff-specific K analysis. I like aff-specific DAs. I like aff-specific CPs. I like T debates that engage with the aff.
On the flip side, I like affs that tackle most Ks, DAs and CPs head-on.

I really like good evidence. I really, really like evidence comparison that lets good evidence shine.

I care less about the content of the argument and more about its intent. Are you reading a 1-card shell because it's a winning argument, or is it a clear throwaway to make being aff difficult? Are you busting out a new K aff against a K team because it's what you're good at, or because you think that I think your standard aff is racist?

Here's a list of args that I'd like to see:
vs most spec args: "no resolutional basis for this interp" + reasonability
vs 3+ advocacies in the NC: conditionality bad
vs PICs w/ terrible net benefits: PICs bad + permutation
vs floating PIKs: FPIKs bad + permutation
vs CPs that don't have solvency advocates: SA theory + permutation
vs terrible DAs: smart analytics + rehighlightings of their ev
vs Ks where the only offense is "turns case": no external offense + try/die framing
vs Ks where absolutely none of the cards are related to the aff: plan focus FW + permutation

vs soft-left topical affs: Afropessimism
vs pomo affs: Marx
vs identity affs: Marx, T-Framework
vs bad policy affs: impact turns + smart analytics on case

Other less important thoughts:
- Debate opened my eyes to the concept of privilege and the way it gets weaponized. I want to do what I can to make sure others have that chance.
- I've found that the difference between judges that are "good for the K" and judges who are not comes down to the amount of work they will do for debaters when key concepts are dropped. For example: "they've conceded X is true which shapes the way you view all their impacts" may be enough work for some judges but rarely for me. I need aff-specific analysis if you want me to weigh your offense against the aff.
- I don't have much patience for debaters that "postround" judges. I have even less patience for coaches who encourage this type of behavior. If you're a 6-0 debater with an 0-6 personality, keep me out of your rounds.
- I don't assume the worst of debaters when it comes to slips in language. That said, please don't misgender people.
- When it comes to counterplan theory, I don't know if there's a better arg than "you should reward good research".
- Counterplans without a solvency advocate? Gross. 1-card K shells that get put on case that end with "vote neg on presumption"? Grotesque!

Julian Kuffour Paradigm

4 rounds

julian kuffour

sophomore debating for usc; head coach of ld for peninsula high school

chain: julianjudging@gmail.com

updated for: jan feb 2019

1. tl;dr:

little to no argumentative preference; fine for the k

conditionality is good; default judge kick

better for presumption than most

tech over truth

2. framework/k affs:

i vote aff more often than not. have been on both sides of this debate and will judge according to tech. fairness over skills. better for limits bad than state evil. need a role for the negative.

k affs are fine. good for identity, bad for high theory. examples are very important in these debates to conceptualize what you are trying to produce or things the aff (or the permutation) might agree with. extremely bad for repeating "normative." yes perms in a methods debate. non-applicable not ontological -0.5 respect.

3. theory:

neg: former structural inherency proponent. these arguments suck tho. just say something else, but of course will judge these debates more closely to tech than others.

aff: condo: good; pic's: lawful good; process cp's: chaotic neutral; negative: fiat; states cp: core negative generic; floating pik's: prolly bad; vague alts: ...lmfao.

4. disad/cp:

go for it. not a big fan of politics. very easily persuaded by a nuanced turns the case argument. disads that are specific to the aff are sweet.

5. the k:

go for it. admittedly bad for high theory. the best link explanations use the language of the aff against them. i care more about form than content. fine for tricks like fiat double-bind and impact defense like the security k.

6. case:

not much to say here. not a big fan of framing contentions, but am a big fan of getting to vote neg on presumption.

7. t:

competing interpretations. not the best at adjudicating these debates tbh. predictable limits matter more than precision.

8. speaks

higher speaks:

impact turn

correct 2nr decision in spite of argumentative preference

holistic debate vision

lower case formatting (omg)

good joke/roast

lower speaks:

bad joke/roast (seriously) (admittedly subjective)



"karl rove"


9. other things

prolly should start slower in front of me than others.

don't clip.

very emotive during debates.

generally gives higher points.

Jonas Le Barillec Paradigm

6 rounds

UPDATED: 9/21/2019

2013-2017: Competed at Peninsula HS (CA)

Yes I want to be on the email chain, add me: jlebarillec@gmail.com

I primarily read policy arguments during the regular season. At camp I experimented with everything including high theory, performance, (ethical) framework, theory, and tricks.

I am willing to judge, listen to, and vote for anything. Just explain it well. I am not a fan of strategies which are heavily reliant on blippy arguments and frequently find myself holding the bar for answers to poor uneveloped arguments extremely low.

Speed should not be an issue, but be clear.

Theory Defaults:
Drop the argument

Other Defaults:

Epistemic Modesty

If I shout TAGS it means that the end of your cards and the beginning of your next tags are not distinct enough.
If you want a better chance at winning and higher speaks start rebuttal speech with a real impact overview and not just explaining how debate works.

Explaining dense arguments will make me more likely to vote for them/higher speaks.

CX and prep are both flex prep. You can just use CX to prep if you want to, and you can use prep to ask questions, and both!

Incomplete extensions will be viewed with heavy skepticism when evaluating the argument. 99% of the time this is just shouting an argument or an author name without explaining what they say/warrant.

Aff vs. the K: No Link + Perm (Yes)

K vs. the Aff: Ks without a link (No)

"Read the Cards!" : If your 2NR/2AR puts your faith in me to just read all the evidence in the debate without any prodding as to what I am looking for, odds are you may be disappointed. I will not make arguments for you/come to conclusions about an argument on my own.




Buffet 2NRs/2ARs

Only the negative reads off-case positions, if you call a 1ar shell a "new off" and not a "new sheet", you will lose speaks.

No, I do not disclose speaks.

Role of the Ballot = Roll of the Eyes; It's just impact calc.

CX begins immediately after the 1AC and the 1NC.

Erik Legried Paradigm

6 rounds

*Updated on 4/21/18 while migrating to Tabroom. I'm revising this because my former paradigm was dated, not because of any significant changes to my judging philosophy.*

Background: I coach LD for the Brentwood School in Los Angeles. I competed in LD for Robbinsdale Cooper HS and Blake HS, both in Minnesota, from 2006-10. I studied philosophy, economics, and entrepreneurship at Northwestern University, graduating in 2014. I have judged several hundred circuit LD rounds, and plenty traditional rounds too.

Overall: I am a 'least-intervention' judge, and try my best to vote on the arguments in the round. Barring certain complicated extremes (i.e. offensive language, physical coercion), I vote for the best reason articulated to me during the debate. This involves establishing a framework (or whatever you want to call it - a mechanism for evaluation) for my decision, and winning offense to it.

Some implications/nuance to 'least-intervention' - a) I won't evaluate/vote on what I perceive to be new arguments in the 2NR or 2AR, b) I won't vote on arguments that I don't understand when they're introduced, c) I won't vote on arguments that I don't hear, and d) I won't vote on arguments you don't make (i.e. if your evidence answers something and you don't point it out)

Spreading: I think speed is overall bad for debate, but I will not penalize you for my belief. You should debate at whatever speed you want, granted I can understand it. If it's just me judging you, I will say clear / slow up to three times per speech. After three I will stop trying. The first two 'clears' are free, but after the third one I will reduce your speaker points by 2 for a maximum of 28. On a panel I will say 'clear' once, maybe twice, depending how the other judges seem to be keeping up.

Speaker points: holistic measure of good debating. I'm looking for good arguments, strategy, and speaking. I average around a 28.5. A 29.3+ suggests I imagine you in elimination rounds of whichever tournament we're at. I'm averaging a 30 once every four years at my current rate.

Loose ends:

- As of the 4/21/18 update, I do not need extensions to be 'full', i.e. claim / warrant / impact, especially in the 1AR, but I do expect you to articulate what arguments you are advancing in the debate. For conceded arguments, a concise extension of the implications is sufficient.

- If I think there is literally no offense for either side, I presume aff.

- I default to a comparative world paradigm.

- I default to drop the argument, competing interpretations, no RVI, fairness/education are voters.

- I will call evidence situationally - on the one hand it is crucial to resolving some debates, on the other hand I think it can advantage unclear debaters who get the benefit of judges carefully reviewing their evidence. I will do my best to balance these interests.

Feel free to contact me at erik.legried@gmail.com.

Joel Lemuel Paradigm

6 rounds

If you are pressed for time jump to the takeaways/bolded parts of each topic/section.

Coaching/Judging History

I have been involved with competitive policy debate in some fashion for the last 15 years. I competed  through high school through college and I have coached middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college students. I have experience judging in urban debate leagues as well as the national circuit.I'm currently the director of forensics at California State University - Northridge so I mostly judge intercollegiate debates. That means I am unlikely to know most of the acronyms, anecdotes, inside-baseball references about other levels of debate and you should probably explain them in MUCH more detail than you would for the average judge. 
Speaker Points
I used to think a 28 indicated a good speaker and a 27 indicated an average speaker. I am learning this may no longer be the case. The takeaway is…Rather than stick to some arbitrary standard for the sake of tradition I will adjust my scale to bring it in line with community norms. 
The Role of the Ballot/Purpose of the Activity/Non-Traditional Teams

The first thing I want to say isn’t actually a part of my philosophy on judging debates as much as it is an observation about debates I have watched and judged. I can’t count the number of rounds I have watched where a debater says something akin to, “Debate is fundamentally X,” or “the role of the ballot is X.” This is not a criticism. These debaters are astute and clearly understand that defining the nature and purpose of the activity is an extremely useful (often essential)tool for winning debates. That said, in truth, debate is both everything and nothing and the role of the ballot is multipleAsserting the "purpose of debate" or "the role of the ballot" is essentially a meaningless utterance in my opinion. Arguing in favor "a particular purpose of debate” or “a particular role of the ballot” in a given round requires reasons and support. Policy debate could be conceived as a training ground for concerned citizens to learn how to feel and think about particular policies that could be enacted by their government. Policy debate could also be conceived as a space students to voice their dissatisfaction with the actions or inactions of the governments that claim to represent them through various forms of performance. Excellent debaters understand policy debate is a cultural resource filled with potential and possibility. Rather than stubbornly clinging to dogmatic axioms, these debaters take a measured approach that recognizes the affordances and constraints contained within competing visions of "the purpose of debate" or the "role of the ballot” and debate the issue like they would any other. 
The problem is assessing the affordances and constraints of different visions requires a sober assessment of what it is we do here. Most debaters are content to assert, “the most educational model of debate is X,” or the “most competitive model of debate is Y.” Both of these approaches miss the boat because they willfully ignore other aspects of the activity. Debates should probably be educational. What we learn and why is (like everything else) up for debate, but it’s hard to argue we shouldn’t be learning something from the activity. Fairness in a vacuum is a coin-flip and that’s hardly worth our time. On the other hand, probably isn’t a purely educational enterprise. Debate isn’t school. If it were students wouldn’t be so excited about doing debate work that they ignore their school work. The competitive aspects of the activity are important and can’t be ignored or disregarded lightly. How fair things have to be and which arguments teams are entitled to make are up for debate, but I think we need to respect some constraints lest we confuse all discourse for argument. The phrase “debate is a game/the content is irrelevant” probably won’t get you very far, but that’s because games are silly and unimportant by definition. But there are lots of contests that are very important were fairness is paramount (e.g. elections, academic publishing, trials). Rather than assert the same banal lines from recycled framework blocks, excellent debaters will try to draw analogies between policy debate and other activities that matter and where fairness is non-negotiable. 
So the takeaway is … I generally think the topic exists for a reason and the aff has to tie their advocacy to the topic, although I am open to arguments to the contrary. I tend to think of things in terms of options and alternatives. So even if topicality is a necessarily flawed system that privileges some voices over others, I tend to ask myself what the alternative to reading topicality would be. Comparison of impacts, alternatives, options, is always preferable to blanket statements like “T = genocidal” or “non-traditional aff’s are impossible to research.”
Burden of Persuasion vs. Burden of Rejoinder
One of things that makes policy debate a fairly unique activity from a policy/legal perspective is our emphasis on the burden of rejoinder. If one competitor says something then the opponent needs to answer it, otherwise the judge treats the argument as gospel. Debaters might think their judges aren't as attentive to the flow as they would like, but ask any litigator if trial judges care in the least whether the other attorney answered their arguments effectively. Emphasizing the burden of rejoinder is a way of respecting the voice and arguments of the students who their valuable time competing in this activity. But like everything else in debate there are affordances as well as constraints in emphasizing the burden of rejoinder. Personally, I think our activity has placed so much emphasis on the burden of rejoinder that we have lost almost all emphasis on the burden of persuasion. I can’t count the number of rounds I have participated in (as a debater and as a judge) where the vast majority of the claims made in the debate were absolutely implausible. The average politics disad is so contrived that its laughable. Teams string together dozens of improbable internal link chains and treat them as if they were a cohesive whole. Truth be told, the probability of the average “big stick” advantage/disad is less than 1% and that’s just real talk. This practice is so ubiquitous because we place such a heavy emphasis on the burden of rejoinder. Fast teams read a disad that was never very probable to begin with and because the 2AC is not fast enough to poke holes in every layer of the disad the judge treats those internal links as conceded (and thus 100% probable). Somehow, through no work of their own the neg’s disad went from being a steaming pile of non-sense to a more or less perfectly reasonable description of reality. I don't think this norm serves our students very well. But it is so ingrained in the training of most debates and coaches (more so the coaches than the debaters actually) that it’s sustained by inertia. 
The takeaway is… that when i judge, I try (imperfectly to be sure) to balance my expectations that students meet both the burden of rejoinder and the burden of persuasion. Does this require judge intervention? Perhaps, to some degree, but isn't that what it means to “allow ones self to be persuaded?” To be clear, I do not think it is my job to be the sole arbiter of whether a claim was true or false, probable or unlikely, significant or insignificant. I do think about these things constantly though and i think it is both impossible and undesirable for me to ignore those thoughts in the moment of decision. It would behoove anyone I judge to take this into account and actively argue in favor of a particular balance between the burdens or rejoinder and persuasion in a particular round.
Importance of Evidence/Cards
I once heard a judge tell another competitor, “a card no matter how bad will always beat an analytic no matter how good.” For the sake of civility I will refrain from using this person’s name, but I could not disagree more with this statement. Arguments are claims backed by reasons with support. The nature of appropriate support will depend on the nature of the reason and on the nature of the claim. To the extent that cards are valuable as forms of support in debate it’s because they lend the authority and credibility of an expert to an argument. But there are some arguments were technical expertise is irrelevant. One example might be the field of morality and ethics. If a debater makes a claim about the morality of assisted suicide backed by sound reasoning there is no a priori reason to prefer a card from an ethicist who argues the contrary. People reason in many different ways and arguments that might seem formally or technically valid might be perfectly reasonable in other settings. I generally prefer debates with a good amount of cards because they tend to correlate with research and that is something I think is valuable in and of itself. But all too often teams uses cards as a crutch to supplement the lack of sound reasoning. 
The takeaway is … If you need to choose between fully explaining yourself and reading a card always choose the former.
KritiksI tend to think I am more friendly to critical arguments that most judges who debated around the same time I did but that might be wishful thinking on my part. My experience judging K teams suggests you are much more likely to convince me the AFF's methodology/epistemology is flawed by somehow relating your impacts to the logical consequence of the plan or aff method (e.g. "they solve their advantage, but it's actually a bad thing" or "they cant *really* solve their big impact + we *actually* solve a smaller impact" etc...) than you are by saying your impacts/framework is a-priori for some reason or another. I am very willing to listen to a-priori framework arguments (and vote on them more frequently than you might imagine) but the bolder the claim the more support you need. 
The takeaway is … I would say I am more friendly to critical arguments than some judges, but that also means I require a higher level of explanation and depth for those arguments. For instance, it is not sufficient to argue that the aff’s reps/epistemology/ontology/whatever is bad and these questions come first. You have to tell me in what way the aff’s methodology is flawed and how exactly would this result in flawed thinking/policy/ect. Unlike disads, individual links to kritiks have to have impacts to be meaningful. In general, I think people read too many cards when running kritiks at the expense of doing a lot textual and comparative work.
I have a relatively high threshold for theory arguments, but I am not one of those judges that thinks the neg teams gets to do whatever they want. You can win theory debates with me in the back, but it probably isn’t your best shot. As a general rule (though not universal) I think that if you didn’t have to do research for an argument, you don’t learn anything by running it. 
I have VERY high threshold for negative theory arguments that are not called topicality. It doesn’t mean I wont vote on these arguments if the aff teams makes huge errors, but a person going for one of these argument would look so silly that it would be hard to give them anything about a 27. 

Matt Liu Paradigm

2 rounds

Matt Liu (formerly Matt Struth)

University of Wyoming

Last updated: 5-15-19

Email chain: mattliu929@gmail.com

I put a pretty high premium on effective communication. Too many debaters do not do their evidence justice. You should not expect me to read your evidence after the round and realize it’s awesome. You should make sure I know it’s awesome while you read it. I find many debaters over-estimate the amount of ideas they believe they communicate to the judge. Debaters who concentrate on persuading the judge, not just entering arguments into the record, will control the narrative of the round and win my ballot far more often than those who don’t. I have tended to draw a harder line on comprehensibility than the average judge. I won’t evaluate evidence I couldn’t understand. I also don’t call clear: if you’re unclear, or not loud enough, I won’t intervene and warn you, just like I wouldn't intervene and warn you that you are spending time on a bad argument. Am I flowing? You're clear.

Potential biases on theory: I will of course attempt to evaluate only the arguments in the round, however, I'll be up front about my otherwise hidden biases. Conditionality- I rarely find that debaters are able to articulate a credible and significant impact. International actor fiat seems suspect. Uniform 50 state fiat seems illogical. Various process counterplans are most often won as legitimate when the neg presents a depth of evidence that they are germane to the topic/plan. Reject the arg not the teams seems true of nearly all objections other than conditionality. I will default to evaluating the status quo even if there is a CP in the 2NR. Non-traditional affirmatives- I'll evaluate like any other argument. If you win it, you win it. I have yet to hear an explanation of procedural fairness as an impact that makes sense to me (as an internal link, yes). None of these biases are locked in; in-round debating will be the ultimate determinant of an argument’s legitimacy.

Clock management: In practice I have let teams end prep when they begin the emailing/jumping process. Your general goal should be to be completely ready to talk when you say ‘end prep.’ No off-case counting, no flow shuffling, etc.

Cross-x is a speech. You get to try to make arguments (which I will flow) and set traps (which I will flow). Once cross-x is over I will stop listening. If you continue to try to ask questions it will annoy me- your speech time is up.

Pet-peeves: leaving the room while the other team is prepping for a final rebuttal, talking over your opponents. I get really annoyed at teams that talk loudly (I have a low threshold for what counts as loudly) during other teams speeches- especially when it’s derisive or mocking comments about the other team’s speech.

Emmiee Malyugina Paradigm

5 rounds

For Email Chain: emmiee@berkeley.edu

LD Paradigm:

Background: Did some high school policy, some LD at Harker -- now doing policy @ Berkeley. I've done both Policy and K debate in both. For LD -- I don't have a whole lot of experience with tricks/phil/theory, but I do have a base level understanding. I got a few bids & taught at a few camps after graduating.

Arguments To Read/Not Read: I personally read LARP and K stuff (identity and pomo), but I'm not ideologically opposed to any other style. However, my understanding of Phil positions and tricks arguments are lower so you'll probably have to do more explaining. The only arguments I won't vote for are those that are blatantly abhorrent, unethically read (i.e.: clipped, misdisclosed, etc), or that lack a claim/impact/warrant.

Other Potentially Relevant Things: I tend to lean more towards how people explain/execute arguments and less towards what the original evidence says unless the other debater makes are argument about it or both teams are equally unclear because if you can't explain your evidence, I'm not going to do the work for you. Also, I presume NEG unless told otherwise and assume impacts are filtered by magnitude*probability if no one makes any framing arguments.

Joshua Michael Paradigm

6 rounds

Updated 9/13/2019

Currently coaching Notre Dame, previously Baylor.

email: joshuamichael59@gmail.com

Settler Colonialism

I went for this arg most of my debate career and enjoy coaching people to go for it. However, I dislike students' tendency to pander to me by reading it. I prefer giving it back, but would like the neg to defend against the impact turn, rather than devolve into decol as a metaphor.

Biggest irritant: "That's a settler move to innocence juhhhdge!" - There are 6 categories. Please know the difference if its to be a viable criticism.


I generally lean neg on questions of Conditionality. A 2ar all in on condo probably isn't going to go your way. I normally lean aff on theory when its about things like Cheating CPs, but I need more than just tag extensions through the speeches.


I have no preference on reasonability vs competing interpretations.


This is the argument that I have the most thoughts on. For the aff: 1) The easiest way to my ballot is to win an education or access claim as a net benefit to your counter interpretation. 2) If you're going to go for only impact turns then you need a really well defended Counter Interpretation. 3) I generally believe that the aff has to defend their MODEL of debate, not just beat FW in that one instance. What does it mean if your model of debate were adopted by the rest of the community. For the Neg: 1) The easiest way to my ballot is to win the TVA. I hate when 2nc CX has one sentence about what the TVA could be with no further discussion. I think to win a TVA you have to have at least one card that substantiates that possible aff (seems like pretty low threshold). Has to solve a majority of the offense of the aff. 2) Based on what I think the aff has to do, I think that your best bet on the Impact level is to win a clash/deliberation or education claim. If you want to go for limits DA that is fine, but I need clear instruction on how I should weigh that vs other Aff impact claims. 4) If you're going to read "law accessible" please talk about the right people. Reading "African Americans can access" does not prove Native Americans can, and any other permutation of that argument.

K aff's

If you want to say "fuck the resolution" cool. I would prefer if you had some connection to the topic though.

Even though I ran this type of aff, I'm a sucker for presumption. If your solvency is supposed to somehow "spill over" then I need clear explanation as to how. If its about in-round solvency then I need to know how I'm supposed to evaluate that and what my role is in that space.


I have a pretty high threshold for alternative explanation and specific link work. I get structural critiques are a thing, but if you don't have a single specific link its probably going to be a bad time for you. FW is one of the most important things for me (basically what got me through my senior year). If you drop State Heuristic Good and Policy Making Good/Needs to be evaluated then you probably aren't going to have offense at the end of the day. Please flag clear DA's to the permutation.


Cheating CPs are fine. DA's are fine.

Dan Miyamoto Paradigm

1 rounds

Former policy debater. Sensibilities skew towards policy making / comparative worlds. Skeptical of root cause kritiks.

Explain the K alt, what it does, why it solves.

Don't assume I'm intimately familiar with your critical theory or its warrants. Make the warrants explicit.

Disclosure is good, you should disclose. It's not my job as a judge to enforce disclosure.

If you plan to go for theory, you should be able to articulate in-round abuse as a result of your opponent's violation.

Sending email counts as prep.

Don't ask if I disclose speaker points. Unless you're tracking the points of everyone in the tournament, that information is useless to you.

* Explicit is better than implicit

* Simple is better than complex

* Complex is better than complicated

* Equity delights in equality.

* One who seeks equity must do equity

* Equity aids the vigilant

John Overing Paradigm

6 rounds

I debate for UC Berkeley. I debated two years for Loyola High School, where I earned six bids to the TOC and attended NSDA Nationals my senior year. I've judged over 250 rounds.

Email: johnovering@berkeley.edu

Quick Prefs:

Stock anything - 1

Utils/LARP - 1

Stock Ks - 1

T/theory - 1

Lots of theory - 2

Funky Ks - 1/2

Philosophy - 3

Bad/Messy Tricks - 4

Pre-Round Paradigm-Viewing:

Win the case, win the debate. Do impact calculus.

Here's how you win in front of me:

1. Identify the issue that will win you the round

2. Collapse to that issue and win it

3. Explain why it outweighs or should be evaluated first

Mostly tab, not scared to vote on abnormal stuff

General Comment:

Comments above give a brief overview of my judging style. Comments below show how that applies to specific elements of debate.


I like kritiks. I read kritiks throughout high school and into college. They can be very strategic, and I have a strong baseline knowledge of most positions. If you read Ks, I'll be a good judge for you.


I read theory shells throughout high school. I think 1AR theory can be very strategic, though try not to use it as a crutch for a bad aff. My high school background is very theory-oriented; if you weigh between standards / abuse stories in your last speech, you'll be fine. Make a mess (Read: don't collapse), and I'll be sad :(

- I think defaults are silly, so just tell me if it's drop the debater/arg/etc, and so on


I've read, answered, and judged so many of these rounds that I've lost count. I'll vote for hard right strategies against the K, and I'm happy to watch policy rounds.

Phil / LD Framework

I've taken a lot of philosophy courses at UC Berkeley and have a decent grasp and appreciation of most positions. I think phil is quite strategic, though perhaps there aren't that many judges around these days to evaluate it. Here's a list of positions I'm decently familiar with:

- Consequentialism (Util etc.), Deontology & Intent-based (Kantian etc.), virtue ethics (Aristotelian etc.), Social Contract (Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke)

- Nietzsche, Rawls, constitutivism, skepticism and determinism

- Prankster Ethics ;)

Those not named you should ask me about, as I have less knowledge in those content areas, but as long as your syllogism is coherent, I think I'll be able to follow.


I am willing to vote on disclosure theory. Should you read it? Sure, UNLESS your opponent is new to debate. I'm very opposed to disclosure theory against students new to the activity. It makes me sad when this happens :(

Procedurals - Speech Times, Evidence Ethics, Resolution?

I regard the following as procedurals: equal speech times, equal prep time, who gets to speak when, only one debater per side, no mid-round coaching or help, evidence has not been falsified or made up, the resolution, probably some more.

Two sub-points. A) "Procedural" doesn't mean it's set in stone. If you argue that I should reject certain procedurals, I'm receptive and will adjudicate it. B) If you violate certain procedurals, you should defend why.


For completely conceded positions, you only need to extend the base description of the position and its syllogism, and then jump into impact calculus and its implications. You don't need to name cards in extensions (though if you want me to look at a piece of evidence, bring it up in the last speech). If a card will become relevant, even if it was conceded, still give an explanation of the warrant.


- Debate well, do something new or interesting, or give me an easy decision in a polite way.

- Open-source disclosure will make me much more generous with speaks, let me know if you do this.

- Props if you work puns into your speeches?

- Show me your flow after the round and I'll add 0.1 to 0.3 speaks. If requested, I will give feedback on your flow.

- *Please* do not attack your opponent. There's a fine line between "You are racist" and "Your position is racist," and they have wildly different meanings.

My judging style is similar to these judges:

As a baseline, see Bob Overing and Tim Alderete. Admittedly, my judging record has proven I have a some-what lower threshold for arguments than either of these two.

For my opinions on in-round attitude and debate environment, see Ben Koh and Chris Kymn. Poor behavior will affect your speaks, though (barring extreme cases) I'll keep such issues out of my decision.


I don't enforce prep time for flashing. Be reasonable.

Flex prep is assumed. I flow cross-ex and prep. I rarely if ever flow off of speech docs.

Water and restroom breaks during the round: counts as prep time unless your opponent is okay with it being off the clock. (I do this not because I care, but because I don't want to risk debaters interacting with coaches or others mid-round.)

Things I like (in no particular order):

- Topicality

- Non-topical ACs

- Politics DAs

- Stock Kritiks

- Oddball Kritiks that show up out of left field (or are atypical or high theory)

- Legit Theory

- a solid Phil NC syllogism

- well-explained atypical Phil NCs

- Solid layering

- Solid collapsing

- Skep in a sketch v sketch round

- Disclosure

- Humor

- Prankster Ethics ;)

- lots of other things

Camp Suggestions?

Premier Debate!



Indu Pandey Paradigm

6 rounds

Hiya! I’m Indu. I debated for Harvard-Westlake for 4 years (graduated in 2018), qualified to the TOC 3 times, had 10 career bids, and won a couple of tournaments/cleared at the TOC. I previously coached at HW and now I coach at The Harker School.

I want to be on the email chain. Your opponent should also be on it. **Email: indujp.2000@gmail.com

Check out girlsdebate.org – it has free resources, like cards and videos, as well as blog articles about being a woman or other minority debater.

Top Level (this is all you really need to know):

- Debate is about arguments/ideas and not individual people. You all are children and creating an actively hostile environment doesn’t really jive with me.

- I can’t vote on arguments that are immediately evident to me to be false. By that I mean, if you read a theory shell or make a competition arg and you are just objectively wrong about the violation, I cannot see myself being compelled to vote for you.

- I don’t really know how to classify myself on the weird “truth” vs “tech”/”flow”/”tab” spectrum – I just want people to be reasonable. That means I’ll lean heavily on the flow, but if you make arguments that are self-evidently ridiculous or underdeveloped it won’t float my boat.

- I love CX!!! Like, seriously. It’s my favorite part of debate. A good CX is killer, and I’ll give good speaks for it.

- Sexism, racism, etc are obviously nonstarters.

- I’ll try to give everyone in the round a fair shake even if you read arguments I never did in high school, I’ve never met you before, etc. Likewise, I expect everyone in the round to treat me with respect. Post-rounding is cool, and people have important questions to ask. Just take a deep breath and avoid insults, yelling, etc.

- I flow. Just wanted to throw that out there.

- WEIGH PLEASE. Most post-rounding is a result of a lack of weighing, and I don't feel particularly bad if I drop you because you didn't make a single comparative statement for 45 minutes.

- I'd prefer if you all "police" yourselves. By that I mean that you should hold each other accountable for speech times, CX, etc. If there's some clear age/experience/other factor that seems to prevent one party from having an equal opportunity to control the round, I will step in. This will likely be pretty uncommon.

More specific things below. Honestly, you can change my mind on most of this stuff, and I’ll really try my best to give you a fair shot at winning these arguments. I just know as a debater I appreciated when judges put their default views on things in their paradigm to ease pre-round anxiety.

Policy Arguments:

Cards are cool------------X---------------------------------Tons of spin

Evidence comparison-X--------------------------------------------Make Indu flip a coin

PTX-X--------------------------------------------PTX?!!? ):

Conditionality bad-----------------------------------------X----Conditionality good

States CP good (+ uniformity)----------X-----------------------------------States bad

Agent, process CPs, PICs -----------------X---------------------------Boooo Wendy Testaburger boo

Impact Calc------------------------------------------X--IMPACT CALC!!!!

4 second competition arguments -------------------------------------------X-- Real competition arguments

Answering straight turns --X-----------------------------------------—Aggressive eye roll

Kritik Arguments:

Overviews longer than my Snapchat streaks--------------------------------X-------------Line by line

What does [INSERT CONFUSING K THING HERE] mean? ------X---------------------------------------Smoke bomb!

Specific links to the aff ------------X---------------------------------Generic links

Hashing out what it means to vote AFF/NEG -X-------------------------------------------- ???????

Starting from the assumption certain arguments are true ----------------------------------------X----- Argument humility

The aff does literally anything -X---------------------------------------- Nothingness for 6 minutes

Explain the perm -X---------------------------------- hehehe perm: do both, perm: double bind, perm: do the alt & make Indu mad

COLLAPSING TO A FEW CORE ARGS IN THE 2NR/AR -XXXXXXX---------------------------------------- ha ha but what if no

Making framing args in the 1NC/1AR --X----------------------------------------------------- me arbitrarily weighing based on my ~vibes~

Theory/Topicality Arguments:

Mix-and-match buy-1-get-1-free kitchen sink theory interps -----------------------------------------X- Debating?

Defend the topic!--------------------X------------------------- Completely non-T

Fairness/Limits good---------------X------------------------------Nope nope nope

RVIs--------------------------------------------------X----No RVIs

Slowing down on analytics & interps -XXXXXX--------------------------------------------------- LKDFGLJEOIKDFGLKJFDGL

Super structured LD froufrou shell -------------------------------------------------X---------- [Thingy] is a voting issue because ground blah blah

Shells that are actually just substantive -------------------------------------------X- make a substance arg?

Arbitrariness bad --X--------------------------------------------------------------------- hyper specific shells

Definition comparison in T debates --X-------------------------------------------------- weighing is overrated go back to 2016 indu


Explain atypical framework ---X------------------------------------------ Assume Indu understands 400 WPM metaphysics at 8 AM

Straight up -X-------------------------------------------- Tricks and memery

Collapse to a few core arguments ----------X----------------------------------- Everything

Actually having offense under your FW -X----------------------------------------------- 1 sentence analytic... ha ha but what if


- Please enunciate and be clear. If I clear you, it’s not because you’re going too fast, it’s because you are nearing or already are incomprehensible. Trust me – you can be fast while still making words come out of your mouth.

- Have some personality! I really enjoy people making some jokes, sarcasm, etc.

- Disclosure and being straight-up at the flip/disclosing cases pre-round/other related practices are good!

- I’m very expressive during round. I don’t really try to suppress in any way. Do with that what you will.

- Cheating accusations: you can stake the round on these. Tab could get involved. Have audio/video evidence of clipping. (I've dropped a handful of people for clipping. I read along and feel comfortable dropping debaters regardless of if an accusation has been made. Please don't cheat.)

- Like, I mentioned... I flow. That means, like you, I could miss arguments or not understand what you’re talking about. We all expect judges to be magic flow fairies, which isn’t true. Try your best to be clear, collapse to few arguments, and weigh. Little judging errors happen when there’s a million moving pieces, and I’ll feel less bad if I make a mistake and the round is like this.

- I read cards and like rewarding good evidence. My reading of evidence unless instructed or in extreme extraneous circumstances (ethics challenges, etc) does not affect my decision. I think debaters would do so much better if they read their opponent's cards because a lot of cards I've seen this season have had... sub-prime quality.

- As I went to Harvard-Westlake, I probably view debate in a similar way to my coaches and teammates. Some of them include: Travis Fife, Scott Phillips, Mike Bietz, Connor & Evan Engel, Cameron Cohen, Nick Steele.

- In light of recent events, I will wait to submit speaks until after the post-round is done. I think aggressive/rude/condescending post-rounds are bad sportsmanship and will be reflected in speaks. I'd like to think I have reasonably thick skin, so this is something that I don't think I'll have to use too often. Just wanted to give everyone a fair warning. This equally applies to your coach(es) & friend(s) who are rude to me after a round. If you can't control yourself, I will not be sympathetic.

- I sometimes (read: often) vote for a team even though I think their arguments aren't particularly good, they made contradictory arguments, or some other ridiculous thing occurs. It's incumbent upon the other debater to point this stuff out. Most of the time, they don't. If you don't, it'll just make everyone sad, including me. This scenario is where most post-rounding occurs. I won't just drop people because I don't vibe with their arguments.

- Please don't feel compelled to read arguments that you think I read in high school. I can tell when you read arguments to try to pander to me, and it's usually a worse quality debate than if you just read the position you actually wanted to. (No one believes this including my own kiddos, but I read 50/50 K & policy args in high school & judge 50/50 K & policy rounds... I actually don't have a preference. Seriously.) I don't need to hear decol fem and states every round -- don't worry about me. Do your own thing. (That being said, I judge a decent number of phil, theory, and clash rounds. I feel comfortable evaluating whatever you throw at me provided you do whatever you're doing well and straight up.)

- I vote relatively 50/50 in non-T aff vs FW rounds. You NEED to have offense and a defense of your vision of the topic/debate! Most of my decisions boil down to not being able to articulate what are big macro-level issues because people are overly caught in LBL. LBL is very important obviously, but that doesn't supplant the importance of explaining what model you're even defending.

- #stopsplittingthe2nr2k20 (Seriously, *who* taught you all to do this! I do not give above a 29 to people who split the 2NR even if you're in the finals of every tournament that year. There is 1/1000 instances where this is debate smart, and I bet you your round isn't that instance.)

- I have chronic migraines that are sometimes triggered by excessive noise, which is sort of unfortunate given that debate... involves much yelling. I will occasionally ask debaters to speak softer if you yell-spread. I've only done this once or twice, but just wanted to give people a fair warning. (No, the migraine does not affect my ability to judge your round. It's just painful. Be a homie.)

Happy debating!

Rodrigo Paramo Paradigm

4 rounds

i debated ld and policy in high school, i coach ld @ greenhill.

toss me on the email chain: greenhilldocs.ld@gmail.com

[current/past affiliations: woodlands ('14-'15), dulles ('15-'16), edgemont ('16-'18), westwood ('14-'18), greenhill ('18-now)]

I am most comfortable evaluating critical and policy debates, but find myself thoroughly enjoying 6 minutes of topicality or framework [like, T-framework against k affs, not kant] if it is delivered at a speed i can flow. I will make it clear if you are going too fast - i am very expressive so if i am lost you should be able to tell. I am a bad judge for tricks debates, and am not a great judge for denser "phil" debates - i do not coach or think about analytic philosophy outside of tournaments, so I need these debates to happen at a much slower pace in order for me to process and understand all the moving parts - notably, this is also true for whoever is answering these positions.

Thoughts I have

0) New Thoughts I Have Had Since My Last Update:

  • i can't think of any instances where a debate round would be better if it includes personal invectives against specific debaters/institutions/etc - i can think of many when it is worse for it.
  • i mark cards at the timer and stop flowing at the timer.

1) Evidence Ethics: Last year I saw a lot of miscut evidence. I think that evidence ethics matters regardless of whether an argument/ethics challenge is raised in the debate. This year, if I notice that a piece of evidence is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads the miscut evidence.

I think that a piece of evidence is miscut if:

  • it starts and/or ends in the middle of a sentence or paragraph.
  • text is missing from the middle of the card (replacing that text with an ellipsis does not make it okay),
  • the next paragraph or another part of the article explicitly contradicts the argument/claim made in the card,
  • the card is highlighted in a way that modifies or does not accurately represent the author’s claim - i think students & coaches both are far too comfortable highlighting only parts of words/sentences in a way that drastically changes the meaning of a card, and i think this is bad. [Be careful with brackets - I don’t think they always mean a card is miscut, but I’ve seen that they very often do. I think that brackets, more often than not, are bad - if a bracket changes the strength of a claim made by the author, or in some other way changes the *meaning* of the evidence, it is miscut],
  • if a cite lists the wrong author, article title, etc. (I hope to decide 0 debates this year on citations - I’ll only decide debates on them without challenges in the most egregious cases).
  • if a card does not have a citation at all and the debater is asked for it, but cannot provide it, i think this means you do not get that argument. i do not think it would be super hard to convince me that this is a voting issue, but i will not presume that.

If I decide a debate on evidence ethics, I will let the debate finish as normal. If the debate is a prelim, I will decide speaks based on the content of the debate and subtract two speaker points from the debater that I vote against. If the debate is an elim, I will submit my ballot and won’t say anything about my decision until the debate is announced.

If both sides read miscut evidence, I will vote against the debater who read miscut evidence first. (I really don’t love this as a way to evaluate these debates, but the only comparable scenario that I can think of is clipping, and that’s how I would resolve those debates.)

I do not plan to go out of my way looking for miscut evidence or checking to see whether every card is cut correctly. If I do notice that something is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads it regardless of whether a challenge is made.

Please do not hesitate to ask questions about this before the debate.

Evidence Ethics Procedures: the phrase "evidence ethics" means something - if someone says it and their opponent clarifies "is this an evidence ethics challenge," i understand this to mean that the debate ends - whoever has made the accusation wins if i believe the evidence ethics violation is correct, they lose if i believe the accused did not commit an evidence ethics violation - i will not independently end the round if the accused does not ask for this - if they do, i am happy to - words matter and evidence ethics matters - see the relevant section on bennett eckert's paradigm for more of my thoughts on this question. i also believe that debaters should think carefully before accusing their opponents of academic dishonesty, plagiarism, etc. - heavy claims.

2) Clipping: i have a good ear for when clipping is occurring - if i suspect it is, i will follow along in the speech doc - if i determine i am correct, the person clipping will lose. to be very clear, this does not necessitate the opponent making a clipping accusation - i feel very comfortable making this adjudication on my own.

3) Nebel T Update: in the past i have made clear that the nebel argument did not make a lot of sense to me. in many ways, i am still receptive to the "pragmatics first" school of thought. however i must admit that nebel 19 (the second one) appeals to me on a deep level. i intuitively believe that a world where debate has plans is a better one, but jake has convinced me that our topic wordings do not often justify that world. i will obviously still judge these debates based only on what happens in the round, but i am newly receptive to the nebel argument. some thoughts:

  • portions of the grammar stuff still confuses me at the speed of a debate round, so please slow down
  • given my fondness for plans, i am more sympathetic to semantic claims when you are defending Nebel

4) Comparative Worlds/Truth-Testing:

  • i will default to a comparative worlds paradigm unless the 1ac/nc justifies otherwise - later speeches cannot shift to truth-testing without an indication of that interpretive claim in the constructives.

5) Politics Disads:

  • i follow domestic politics prettttty closely. this means i will be thrilled to reward smart analytics made on politics scenarios and will be impressed if you know your stuff. that said, this means my bs meter is pretty high on some ptx scenarios - for instance, i am not going to vote on an impeachment impact unless you tell me how we get from a 53-47 gop senate to a successful vote to remove trump from office - absent that warrant, i will not grant you "impeachment proceedings remove trump from office" [of course, the opposing side must be able to explain why a 53-47 gop senate is unlikely to cast that votes
  • i think it is (still) a tad too early for good 2020 debates to happen yet, so if you plan on reading them please read high quality evidence and match that with high quality analysis in the 2nr

6) miscellaneous thoughts on Theory/topicality:

  • slow down on it - will say slow twice. after that, i will miss your arguments and that will be the RFD. this is similarly true for perm texts etc - dont super care what the doc said if i didnt flow the text near verbatim in the 1ar. if i say "slow" i have almost certainly already missed an argument - do with that what you will.
  • im pretty receptive to text of the interp/text of the rotb/plan flaw args - i generally think that when issues arise in those 3 things, they are a result of students not giving much thought to them which is a shame bc all 3 are pretty important in my view - well crafted interps, as well as cxes that isolate plan flaws/interp issues will be rewarded (this does not mean i like /bad/ plan flaw args). i am also fairly willing to check in on semantic i meets against frivolous theory.
  • you should always flash or have written down interp/counter-interp texts readily available for both your opponents and your judges
  • i will likely be easily compelled by a "debaters should not bracket evidence" argument *if* you can execute it well - i have grown sympathetic to this argument as abuses become increasingly egregious
  • theory and topicality are different and i think this implicates what the 1ar is expected to do to respond to each. it also implicates what topicality vs theory interpretations (and counter interpretations) are expected to include
  • my reluctance to vote on bad theory arguments is not because they are bad but because i literally dont understand the abuse story on many many shells. some examples: spec status; spec standard; rotb spec; cant concede the aff framework; must concede the aff framework. i am not interested in judging these debates and do not think the feedback i give in these debates is that helpful for anyone involved. good theory debates can be great, but i will feel comfortable saying "i did not understand the abuse story so i did not vote on this shell" (this also applies to framework v k affs)
  • "in the interest of disclosing my own bias, i think the best debates happen when both teams are able to reasonably predict what arguments will be read (with the exception of new affs + unbroken neg positions). i am unsympathetic to arguments about disclosure that do not contest this point. even if you cannot post broken positions on the wiki for whatever reason, it is my belief that you should be willing to provide them, in good faith, to your opponent upon request in some way." - anna (weird to quote a former student on here!)

7) miscellaneous thoughts on T-Framework

  • i spent... a lot of time last summer thinking about framework against k affs - im into it if done well - im not as into the procedural fairness version of it - get creative.
  • i do not think i have ever been convinced by the claim that judges have a jurisdictional constraint to only vote for topical affs - i do not foresee that changing [really, *any* jurisdictional constraint is unlikely to be compelling to me bc it is a claim that just kind of is incapable of a particularly good warrant]
  • I think the best framework shells will be written to pre-empt semantic I meets, and will do more than just define three words in the resolution - they will provide a model for what topical affs must defend, they will have standards level offense that has explanatory power for why debate has rules, what the role of the ballot is, etc. - I suppose in short, the claim behind a good framework shell is stronger than just “the resolution determines the division of aff and neg ground.”
  • your shell should define a word in the resolution besides just "Resolved:"
  • pretty close to 50/50 voting record in clash debates

8) miscellaneous thoughts on permutations:

  • i do not understand why the aff would not get perms in a method debate - i have never seen a compelling warrant and can't really think of one - thus, the default assumption on my part is that the aff does get perms and it is a fairly uphill battle to convince me otherwise
  • i will not grant you the perm if i am uncertain about the perm text bc the articulation between 1ar and 2ar was different
  • perm texts should be more than "perm do both" - *especially* in the 2ar
  • you should always flash or have written down perm texts readily available for both your opponents and the judges

9) miscellaneous thoughts on the Kritik

  • i am so deeply deeply unreceptive to and uninterested in this trend of explaining new identity categories with the same form and language of antiblackness literature. if you do not have a psychoanalytic warrant, dont claim you do! if you do not have evidence identifying a structural antagonism, i do not know why you are using that language! sigh.
  • kritiks i have spent a lot of time thinking about: deleuzean scholarship, queer theory (a lot of authors fall under this second category), borderlands
  • kritiks I judge a lot: afropessimism, settler colonialism
  • kritiks I don't really get: baudrillard [i am far far more receptive to baudrillard on the negative than on the affirmative, but i think it is a kinda uphill battle against identity affs in front of me]
  • i think that the best k affs will have a defense of why *debating the aff* is good - not just why *the aff* as an object is good - why is the process of reading it in an environment where the neg must respond to it good? (in other words, the affirmative should answer the question of why it is good to read non-t affs on the aff, not just in debate)
  • i really enjoy a good performance debate
    • i think that people often attempt to go for performative offense when all they have done is read cards that are formatted in a normative way, at a conventional speed, and where later speeches revert to a hyper technical style of debate - i am *very, very* skeptical of the level of offense that these performances access - to get access to a "we change debate" claim, you should... do something I haven't seen before. a performance debate should not be indistinguishable from a policy debate, and these days almost all of the ones i judge are. that is a real shame.
  • my threshold for "debate bad" is fairly high - my presumption is that there is a lot of value in debate, and that is why I have stuck around for so long.

10) miscellaneous thoughts (other):

  • Evidence quality is directly correlated to the amount of credibility I will grant an argument - if the card is underhighlighted, the claim is likely underwarranted. The 1ac/nc should have evidence of high quality, and the 1ar/2nr/2ar should have explanation of that evidence of a similarly high quality
  • if the 2nr is split that is rarely a great sign for speaker points - it also is liable to implicate your ability to win the debate
  • i will not vote for a position i do not understand - this includes poorly explained kritiks, sloppy link scenarios on a disad, dense ncs that i probably wont get, and theory shells whose abuse story i can not adequately explain back to the debaters
  • I'll say clear/slow twice - speaks will be deducted after that
    • given how clear it is to me that no one could flow a debate round as it is delivered, i am cool w debaters tossing out a "slow" at their opponents if they can't flow them at top speed
  • flex prep means asking questions during prep time - in no world does unused CX time become prep time
  • speech times dont change presumption how wild - people should deploy presumption more against affirmatives that do not defend anything!
  • clarity is important for high speaks but more important than how you sound is making strategic decisions in the 2AR/NR collapse in the 2nr/2ar
  • I love a robust debate on the case line by line - I do not love a case debate that is just three disads read on the case page, or that dumps generic case turns on the page with no signposting / interacting with cards from the ac - this is particularly true when you read all the generic turns and then do the line by line.
  • i generally do not believe you can merely "insert" a list of what the aff defends - I think this is functionally equivalent to not reading it.
  • my average speaks so far this year:
    • grapevine: 28.32
    • greenhill rr: 28.63
    • greenhill: 28.43
    • marks: 28.72
    • apple valley:28.3
    • glenbrooks + glenbrooks rr: 28.71
    • ut: 28.18
    • blake: 28.9
    • first semester average: 28.52
    • churchill: 28.38
    • hwl: forgot to calculate them + speaks arent public! :/

11) on trigger warnings:

Debaters reading positions about suicide, depression/specific mental health, sexual violence, or any similarly traumatic issue, the onus is on them to ask those in the room permission to read the position. Spectators may leave, but judges and opponents do not have that option, meaning there is an expectation that if one of them objects to the triggering subject, that the debater will not read that position. If a debater does not adjust their strategy after being asked to, they will start the round with a 25. If you do not ask before round, but someone is triggered, speaks will similarly be docked. If there is no trigger warning but no one is triggered, the round can continue as normal.

The question for what necessitates a trigger warning is difficult to objectively delineate - if you have a reasonable suspicion someone could be negatively impacted by your position, ask before you read it - explicit narratives are probably a good starting point here. Trigger warnings are contentious in debate but I've seen students negatively impacted in rounds because they were not present and have engaged in conversations with other coaches that lead me to conclude something along these lines is necessary. At the very least, debate is (or should be) a 'safe space', and I believe this is a necessary first step towards achieving that goal. Feel free to discuss this before the round if you are worried it will become an issue in round.

This (admittedly strangely) probably means I'm not the judge for "must read a trigger warning" shells - they often make debate rounds uncomfortable and i have seen them leveraged in ways that make debate spaces unsafe - if no one was triggered, don't spend your time on that shell.


This article is very good at articulating my views on the importance of trigger warnings
It is not up for debate that if someone was triggered on account of your failure to adequately make use of trigger warnings, you'll be punished through speaks and/or the ballot

Chris Perez Paradigm

6 rounds

Harvard Westlake Update: ***I just woke up, and I feel super sick. I’ll give my RFD and comments, but let’s hold a substantive discussion for later if there is one - just email me and I’ll get back to you***


Downtown Magnets '18

USC '22

I will be able to adjudicate any type of round, as I've run all from an Ocean Energy aff/politics to a Lacan aff/anti-blackness; I know you've done the work to refine whatever argument you want to read, so I will respect that - just tell me what to do with my pen. Admittedly, I’m no longer debating. I’m still confident in my ability to make a coherent decision, but probably won’t know the topic literature. Ask me anything here before the round or if I can do anything to make the round/tournament better for you: christopherp1322@gmail.com😊.

TLDR: Debate whatever arg you want, don't be mean, put me on the email chain

LD Update: Everything below applies - a few comments specific to the format

1. Do I vote for RVIS? Yes and no? Yes, as in I'm open to voting for any argument. No, as in I've never voted for the argument because

a. teams don't give me reasons why I should vote for it.

b. The only justification is that "they dropped it!"; just because they don't specifically answer the RVI doesn't mean that the rest of the speech is probably a response already

c. given the nature of the argument, its probably difficult to win. Though I'd be conducive to hear a "drop the debater because they're ableist; here's why" - though that's probably theory

d. (UPDATE) Voted a team down because the other team clearly pointed out ways the other team made fun of black female scholarship and told me why that mattered.

2. Since AC's are short in time teams often have terrible internal link chains. Negs should point this out

3. I don't think I'll vote on a completely new AR argument (unless maybe hinted before or actually super abusive?).

General comments about me:

  • Put me on the email chain
  • I often close my eyes, put my head down, etc. Many people think that this is because I'm sleeping; nah, that's just my preference to avoid having my facial expressions influence the round. If that's something you're not comfortable with, just let me know
  • I dislike the phrase "is anyone not ready". In the wise words of Richie Garner, "it is a linguistic abomination (see: bit.ly/yea-nay)."
  • Please don’t read at a million wpm at the top of your rebuttals/theory args - its not very fun to flow in this situation.
  • I guess I like the K? But please - read whatever argument you want to. I do my best to not let my biases affect my decision in relation to being more or less receptive to certain arguments. Rather, the only extent to which I let my kritikal background affect my process of adjudication is that I can provide more comments/feedback post-decision with kritikal arguments because of my background, rather than with arguments involving specific legal/political intricacies. In summation, the burden is on you - k or policy - to lead me through the ballot, but I'm more productive in discussions of k's after the round. Trust me, I probably won't be able to answer your super-specific resolutional question.
  • I read mainly psycho, anti-blackness, Marx, and ableism in college debate.

Everything else is alphabetical:

CP: The following statement is probably my default lens for judging any argument: if the counterplan is your go-to I’m all for it. I expect the CP to solve the case or at least a portion of it, and is competitive to the plan. I’ve read a lot of abusive counterplans in the past like Consultation/Agent CP’s/PICs and don’t mind them. Obviously if the aff can effectively debate theories against these CP’s that’d be great.

DA: Contextualize the link. If the link’s warrants are in the context of the travel ban and the aff is entirely different and the aff points this out, I’ll probably err aff (unless the negative can effectively articulate that the aff is similar to what the link story says). I don’t find politics arguments too interesting, but if that’s your go-to let’s do it.

K-affs: I’ve run these affirmatives before. I’ll vote on your advocacy if you can explain to me why your model is valuable. I'll flow your performance or anything you do in your speech (make sure to extend them). Although I like critical arguments, be careful about tangential relationships to the topic because it makes me more sympathetic of TVA's, as I think that k-affs should still probably be topical. It doesn't need to include a hypothetical implementation of a policy, but you should still somehow reduce restrictions on immigration/affirm the resolution. Be creative with the definitions and explain why I should value your definition of immigration vs a legal one. Just criticizing and discussing the resolution will probably make you lose vs T a lot. If you don't affirm the resolution I'm still down for that, but be ready to impact turn everything and defend your model of debate.

- PS: If you know you’re hitting a school with historically less resources and you’re running some high theory Baudrillard aff, come on. Obviously I won’t vote you down based on your argument choice, but endorse an accessible reputation for debate. You can try to flash your blocks/analytics/full 1AC, don’t sidestep in CX, or maybe run a more intellectually accessible aff. If not, I can’t stop you but it’d be a really nice gesture - might help your speaks.

Kritiks: I’ve mainly been a kritik debater throughout my four years of debating. With that being said, don’t assume I’ll be hip with your postmodern theory and/or be more sympathetic of your psychoanalysis/antiblackness k. Just follow the same advice above and explain your k, tell me what to focus on, etc. Explain how the aff entrenches x and how that leads to a bad implication, how the link turns the aff or outweighs it, the productiveness of my ballot if I vote negative, how the alternative resolves something that outweighs the aff, and how the alt overcomes the UX of the link (although if worded correctly, I’ll vote for an alternative that is a leap of faith.) A good k debate to me will help your speaks! Also if there's a long OV or FW block let me know to put it on another flow.

T - USFG/FW: You shouldn't exclude their 1AC based on the premise that its "non-traditional"; you aren't reduced to just being able to say racism is good. Likewise, you shouldn’t read the same definition requiring the same USFG action. I say this not because I hate T (which is the contrary), but because your performance/substance probably won't be great with that strat. Be creative! My favorite FW debater is radical and explains why there is intrinsic value in having discussions rooted in the legal realm/reducing restrictions on immigration within the context of the aff’s impacts. If you can contextualize your education/fairness impacts against the 2AC and/or explain how you turn the aff, I’ll be loving your debate. I will be less sympathetic to generic FW blocks that just articulate fairness and education without reference to the aff.

Theory/Topicality: This is the area where I'm the least literate on, so please keep that in mind if your strategy involves a legitimate interest in theory. Just do meaningful comparison and tell me why I should be erring towards your model of debate over theirs. Obviously if theory is dropped by the opponents and that becomes what you go for, I’ll (probably?) vote for it. However, if the theory is otherwise read for just time skew and the other team sufficiently answers the argument I’ll generally disregard it. If you can articulate a substantive impact then it probably has a purpose and I’ll be more sympathetic – I’ll be less sympathetic to 20 second blippy blocks meant to outspread the 2AC. To be transparent, I haven’t judged many non-T theory debates. I’d be extremely interested if you can perform a well-articulated theory debate.

Otherwise, please have fun! This round is for you.

Scott Phillips Paradigm

Scott Phillips- for email chains please use iblamebricker@gmail in policy, and ldemailchain@gmail.com for LD
Coach@ Harvard Westlake/Dartmouth

2018 Updates

My general philosophy is tech/line by line focused- I try to intervene as little as possible in terms of rejecting arguments/interpreting evidence. As long as an argument has a claim/warrant I can explain to your opponent in the RFD I will vote for it. If only one side tries to resolve an issue I will defer to that argument even if it seems illogical/wrong to me- i.e. if you drop "warming outweighs-timeframe" and have no competing impact calc its GG even though that arg is terrible. 90% of the time I'm being postrounded it is because a debater wanted me to intervene in some way on their behalf either because that's the trend/what some people do or because they personally thought an argument was bad.

Old Stuff
Rounds Judged on the topic- a lot
My Ideal affirmative- 2 well constructed advantages
My Ideal 1NC- 5 off and case

Cliffs Notes-Top 10 Things you should know

1. I vote on arguments commonly considered "bad" frequently because a team mishandles them, it is my belief belief that most bad arguments can be defeated by making a thumbs down motion, so if you fail to meet that minimum threshold I will be qualmless voting against you. The overarching principle of my judging is "least intervention"-Much like Harrison Ford in Ender's Game under no circumstances will I help you with bad arguments, I believe in self help.

2. I vote on kritiks a lot because the team answering them reads a lot of bad generic answers instead of making analytic arguments based on the specific arguments they have made in that debate. To clarify this sentence - what I mean is an analytic based on your 1AC- ie "tradable permits empirically don't cause commodification and extinction since we already have them for SO2". In general I think most debaters have no idea what they are saying when reading a K and that affirmatives SHOULD win about 80-90% of the debates in which the negative goes for one.

3. No plan affs- 100% of the time when I vote against you on framework its because the other team won theory was a trump card over issues like education/K impacts and you didn't advance theory offense for your interpretation. I end up voting for no plan args frequently because the neg collapses/has no idea what to do.

4. Theory needs to come back with a vengeance

A. Entirely plan inclusive counterplans- I have never heard a theory argument to defend them that passes the minimum threshold explained above. That being said, winning a solvency deficit against them is basically impossible.

B. More than 2 conditional counterplans is just you being a chazzer

C. K frameworks/roles of the ballot that stack the deck absurdly are worse than entirely plan inclusive counterplans

D. Reject argument not team produces terrible debates with very bad strategies. Voting on theory doesn't fix this, but it improves it substantially.

5. I believe you have a choice
A. Clearly articulate your ground/say as much in CX
B. Because your position is vague you are susceptible to a reduced credibility modifier that taints many of your arguments. Plan vagueness affects plan solvency, alternative vagueness affects.... etc.

6. IMO there are, in fact, risks of things. Debaters should be aware of this and make arguments about how I should resolve risk. The plan may be popular with 5 people and unpopular with 6, should I place more emphasis on the number of people or maybe are those 5 more important? Very few link cards establish such a clear threshold that you can say with certainty (when contested) yes definite link. (this point is largely irrelevant now as the tides of history have turned and no risk people have been successfully marginalized)

7. I will always defer to debater argument resolution if one side does it and the other doesn't-no matter how bad or illogical I think the argument is. This is to me, the most important part of debate.

8. I try really hard to flow well. Teams who willfully ignore line by line/structure - I will not do work for you to figure things out if the other team does line by line barring some argument why I should.

9. I often call for lots of evidence after a debate, most of the time this is just out of curiosity. When making my decision evidence is only a factor when it is a point of contest or someone has made an argument for why it should be a part of the decision. I am not a judge who reads every card from both sides and makes a decision based on the evidence.

10. Evidence quality in debate is in terminal decline. If you have good evidence and you make an issue of it in the debate (talk about quals, or recency for uniqueness) you will most likely crush.

Making a decision:
Everything is debatable but speech times: The role of the ballot, whether evidence or analytic arguments are more important, is it acceptable for the other team to read off their computers, who gets presumption and why etc. If neither team makes an argument on the issue, the following are my defaults:

1. Evidence and analytic arguments are treated equally- I will look at the total sum of explanation offered for an argument, from any form. So if a well explained analytical will beat a poorly written piece of evidence. If one teams reads qualifications and the other doesn't, the team who read quals will receive a slight bump in the level of quality I assess to their explanation (assuming all other factors are equal). Treating them as equal until told otherwise is my way of encouraging debate.

2. Presumption, in the case of a tie or too close to call resolution of an argument, goes to the team advocating the least change. I would use presumption in the instance where each team had an advocacy and an offensive argument, and each team dropped a terminal defense argument to their own offense such that the net risk in either direction of presented offense was exactly zero. In that instance the "hidden disad" of change makes sense as a decision making tool. In no other circumstance I can think of would I use presumption unless explicitly instructed by the debaters.

3. If an argument is unresolveable (or tough to resolve) I will use a "needs" test- the burden of explanation will be assessed to the team who NEEDS the argument to win. So for example
-on a CP permutation, if the neg would win the debate without the permutation, then the aff needs it to win- so the burden of explanation is on them
-for CP solvency, if the neg would lose if the CP did not solve the case, then the neg needs to win solvency- so the burden of explanation is on them

4. Concession= truth. If you drop epistemology comes first/is a side constraint, then it is. You can drop that framing issue and still win as long as you beat the link (that your epistemology is flawed), but you will not be allowed new answers to the impact. I use a reasonable person standard- if I was unaware that the 1NC presented a epistemology first argument (based on what was said in the 1NC, not my prior knowledge of the negative team), then if the aff says "they didn't say this, therefore our answers aren't new" I would allow it. But remember, everything is debatable. If the 2NR comes back and asserts it was clearly stated when they said XYZ, the aff has to disprove that.

5. The threshold for how good a response to an argument has to be is directly related to the quality of the initial argument. Saying "RANT" is sufficient to beat a lot of voting issues. If the other team answers RANT in their 2NC sever perms are a VI block, and thats all you say, you will be in trouble. Similarly, many counterplans (consult, recommendation, delay, lopez) are easily defeated by theory arguments but almost impossible to beat on substance. A well rounded debater should avoid trying to ice skate uphill.

6. I spend a lot of time on debate. Other than eating and playing video games, basically all of my time is spent cutting cards, coaching, writing and reading about debate. A lot of judges say "I'm not a very good flow". I'm a very good flow, I may even go as far as to say probably one of the best. All that being said, it is very possible that you could say a string of words, or utter a quote from an article I have written that fully conveys your argument to me, but would leave a less experienced/judge with a life with no idea what you were saying/what your argument was. I try to temper this fact by using a "reasonable person" standard for what makes a complete argument. I feel this is essential because otherwise any student who was in my lab, had emailed me a question, or had just read a lot of the 3NR would have an absurdly unfair advantage vs a similarly skilled student. So if I made a joke in lab about saying "purple monkey dishwasher" and that meaning "we do the whole plan minus the reps", so you say that in a debate and expect me to vote on it, I won't. Unless you are debating someone else from the lab who had equal access to that information. Similarly, even if I flowed an argument/got the jist of what you were saying, but feel that the other team is being reasonable when they say your argument was poorly explained/did not constitute an argument I will be open to that and you need to respond.

Speaker points:

1. I like fast debate. That being said, some people give fast debate a bad name. You can be fast only after you are clear and efficient. I should be able to understand every word you say, not just the tags. If you are stammering (or displaying other verbal missteps) excessively you are going faster than you are capable of going imo.

2. Points are determined by how well you perform your function, which depends on what speeches you give. A 1AC should be perfectly smooth because you can practice it as much as you want. A 2NC assembled on the fly vs a new case can be excused a few missteps on the other hand. I think auto giving the 1N low points because they could be replaced by a robot in most debates is a bit unfair- a blazing fast 1NC and devastating 1NR can be game changing. That being said, rarely do people perform up to that level.

3. Points are assessed relative to the field in which you are competing. The same speech can be a 29 at a local, but a 27.5 at St Marks.


What is your threshold for T?
The threshold is established by the other teams answers- if they make good defensive arguments and argue reasonability well than my threshold will be high. If they don't it will be very low.

What are you favorite kinds of debate?
Ones in which there are clash, since that is not really a thing anymore its usually impact turn debates- heg bad, de-dev, CO2 ag and warming good- loved to go for these when I debated and love to see them debated now. CO2 ag is the upper limit of stupid I think is acceptable.

Did you run kritiks when you debated?
Not as much as Bricker would want you to believe. My senior year in HS and my senior year in college I went for K's about 30% of the time, in the other years of my debate less than 5%.

Did you ever read a critical aff?
By today's standards no- I always had a plan, though sometimes the advantages were not nuke war.

You bash the politics disad a lot, will you still vote for it?
Yes, almost always because the affirmative never does anything of the things that highlight the problem with politics.

Are you OK with speed?
Yes, if anything I dislike slow debate. However this is a double edged sword- if you do fast debate terribly I will punish you for it.

Is Fem IR beatable?

What race do you play in SC2?
Usually random, but if I pick -zerg.

If you were in Game of Thrones, which house would you belong to?

Random Gripes

A note on jumping:

I want to see good debates. I'm not interested in charging you 10 seconds of prep to jump your speeches. If, however, you show total technical incompetence at jumping/severely delay the round your speaks will suffer. A good jump is like a good road map- its not hard, so get it over with quickly.

Standards for sharing should be reciprocal, and as such are established by the team willing to do the least. If Team A doesnt jump speeches as a policy that is fine by me, but then Team B is under no obligation to let Team A see any of their evidence. If Team A doesn't jump analytics, Team B doesn't have to etc.

A note on quality:

I generally believe that there are certain "norms" in debate- don't steal prep time, don't clip cards etc. These norms are not rules, and as such as a judge I don't think its my job to enforce them. In fact, I think it SHOULD be the burden of a good team to be on top of is the other team stealing prep, are they clipping cards etc. Encouraging students to take responsibility for this is the best model imo. However, there are debates where there is a huge mismatch in terms of the quality of the teams involved. I no longer think it reasonable to expect novices entered in their first varsity tournament to check to see if the Baker Award winning team they are debating is stealing prep. I also don't really care to argue with you about whether or not you are stealing prep. So my solution is that for all things that could be considered a violation of good sportsmanship I will severely jack your points if it is a debate where I subjectively decide the other team should not be responsible for checking you.SO

-If I think you are clipping cards/stealing prep/misquoting evidence/lying in cx in the finals of the TOC vs another excellent team I would expect the other team to catch you
-If I think you are clipping cards/stealing prep/misquoting evidence/lying in cx during a preset vs a vastly inferior team I will severely dock your speaker points

Demarcus Powell Paradigm

4 rounds

Feel free to email me with any questions about my paradigm. powelld@greenhill.org

Only send speech docs to for Dallas tournaments powelld@greenhill.org.For national circuit tournament please send speech docs to greenhilldocs.ld@gmail.com

ASK FOR POLICY PARADIGM - The paradigm below is designed mostly for LD. Some things change for me when evaluating the different events/styles of debate. Also when you ask please have specific questions. Saying "What's your paradigm?", will most likely result in me laughing at you and/or saying ask me a question.

About Me: I graduated from Crowley High School in 2013, where I debated LD for three years mostly on the TFA/TOC circuit. I ran everything from super stock traditional cases to plans/counterplans to skepticism, so you probably can't go wrong with whatever you want to run.I debated at The University of Texas at Dallas, in college policy debate for 3 years .Running any sort of Morally repugnant argument can hurt you, if you're not sure if your argument will qualify ask me before we begin and I'll let you know.

Speed: I can flow moderately fast speeds (7-8 on a scale of 10), but obviously I'll catch more and understand more if you're clear while spreading. I'll say "clear"/"slow" twice before I stop attempting to flow. If I stop typing and look up, or I'm looking confused, please slow down!! Also just because I can flow speed does not mean I like hearing plan texts and interpretations at full speed, these things should be at conversational speed.

Cross Examination: While in front of me cx is binding anything you say pertaining to intricacies in your case do matter. I don't care about flex prep but I will say that the same rules of regular cx do apply and if you do so your opponent will have the chance to do so. Also be civil to one another, I don't want to hear about your high school drama during cx if this happens you will lose speaker points.

Prep Time: I would prefer that we don't waste prep time or steal it. If you're using technology (i.e. a laptop, tablet, or anything else) I will expect you to use it almost perfectly. These things are not indicative of my decision on the round rather they are pet peeves of mine that I hate to see happen in the round. I hate to see rounds delayed because debaters don't know how to use the tools they have correctly.UPDATE. You need to flow. The excessive asking for new speech docs to be sent has gotten out of hand. If there are only minor changes or one or two marked cards those are things you should catch while flowing. I can understand if there are major changes (3 or more cards being marked or removed) or new cards being read but outside of this you will get no sympathy from me. If you are smart and actually read this just start exempting things. I don't look at the speech doc I flow. If you opponent doesn't catch it so be it. If this happens in rounds I am judging it will impact your speaker points. If you would like a new doc and the changes are not excessive per my definition you are free to use your own prep time, this will not effect your speaker points.

Theory: I don't mind theory debates - I think theory can be used as part of a strategy rather than just as a mechanism for checking abuse. However, this leniency comes with a caveat; I have a very low threshold for RVI's (i.e. they're easier to justify) and I-meet arguments, so starting theory and then throwing it away will be harder provided your opponent makes the RVI/I-meet arguments (if they don't, no problem). While reading your shell, please slow down for the interpretation and use numbering/lettering to distinguish between parts of the shell!

Also theory debates tend to get very messy very quickly, so I prefer that each interpretation be on a different flow. This is how I will flow them unless told to the otherwise. I am not in the business of doing work for the debaters so if you want to cross apply something say it. I wont just assume that because you answered in one place that the answer will cross applied in all necessary places, THAT IS YOUR JOB.

  • Meta-Theory: I think meta-thoery can be very effective in checking back abuses caused by the theory debate. With that being said though the role of the ballot should be very clear and well explained, what that means is just that I will try my hardest not to interject my thoughts into the round so long as you tell me exactly how your arguments function. Although I try not to intervene I will still use my brain in round and think about arguments especially ones like Meta-Theory. I believe there are different styles of theory debates that I may not be aware of or have previously used in the past, this does not mean I will reject them I would just like you to explain to me how these arguments function.

Speaks: I start at a 27 and go up (usually) or down depending on your strategy, clarity, selection of issues, signposting, etc. I very rarely will give a 30 in a round, however receiving a 30 from me is possible but only if 1) your reading, signposting, and roadmaps are perfect 2) if the arguments coming out of your case are fully developed and explained clearly 3) if your rebuttals are perfectly organized and use all of your time wisely 4) you do not run arguments that I believe take away from any of these 3 factors. I normally don't have a problem with "morally questionable" arguments because I think there's a difference between the advocacies debaters have or justify in-round and the ones they actually support. However, this will change if one debater wins that such positions should be rejected (micropol, etc). Lastly, I do not care if you sit or stand while you speak, if your speech is affected by your choice I will not be lenient if you struggle to stand and debate at the same time. UPDATE. If you spend a large chunk of time in your 1AC reading and under-view or spikes just know I do not like this and your speaks may be impacted. This is not a model of debate I want to endorse.

General Preferences: I need a framework for evaluating the round but it doesn't have to be a traditional value-criterion setup. You're not required to read an opposing framework (as the neg) as long as your offense links somewhere. I have no problem with severing out of cases (I think it should be done in the 1AR though). NIBs/pre standards are both fine, but both should be clearly labeled or I might not catch it. If you're going to run a laundry list of spikes please number them. My tolerance of just about any argument (e.g. extinction, NIBS, AFC) can be changed through theory.

Kritiks and Micropol: Although I do not run these arguments very often, I do know what good K debate looks like. That being said I often see Kritiks butchered in LD so run them with caution. Both should have an explicit role of the ballot argument (or link to the resolution). For K's that are using postmodern authors or confusing cards, go more slowly than you normally would if you want me to understand it and vote on it.

Extensions and Signposting: Extensions should be clear, and should include the warrant of the card (you don't have to reread that part of the card, just refresh it). I not a fan of "shadow extending," or extending arguments by just talking about them in round - please say "extend"!! Signposting is vital - I'll probably just stare at you with a weird look if I'm lost.

Some of the information above may relate to paper flowing, I've now gone paperless, but many of the same things still apply. If I stop typing for long stretches then I am probably a bit lost as to where you are on the flow.

Srivatsav Pyda Paradigm

6 rounds

I debated for Harker from 2014-2017. I mostly read policy arguments. I care a lot about evidence quality. Arguments do not begin at 100% truth. I haven't judged in a while, so for Apple Valley, especially the earlier rounds, please read a little slower.

I don't like preclusion-based arguments. By this I mean arguments that say "x is the root cause of y" or "x argument/framework comes before y framework". These arguments are impact calculus, albeit usually pretty good impact calculus, and do not mean none of the links to y matter. This means I am strongly in favor of epistemic modesty. This does not mean I'm not open to framework debates. It does mean I think a stategy that concedes all of the other side's offense and just answers the framework or impact is very bad.

my email is pap13p@gmail.com - add me to the email chain.

If your opponent points out or I find out you didn't disclose (absent outstanding circumstances), I will vote against you.

Chris Randall Paradigm

5 rounds

Debate for me first and foremost is an educational tool for the epistemological, social, and political growth of students. With that said, I believe to quote someone very close to me I believe that it is "educational malpractice" for adults and students connected to this activity to not read.

Argument specifics

T/ and framework are the same thing for me I will listen. I believe that affirmative teams should be at the very least tangentially connected to the topic and should be able to rigorously show that connection.

DA'S- Have a clear uniqueness story and flesh out the impact clearly

CP's- Must be clearly competitive with the aff and must have a clear solvency story, for the aff the permutation is your friend but you must be able to isolate a net-benefit

K- I am familiar with most of the k literature

CP'S, AND K'S- I am willing to listen and vote on all of these arguments feel free to run any of them do what you are good at

In the spirit of Shannon Sharpe on the sports show "Undisputed" and in the spirit of Director of Debate at both Stanford and Edgemont Brian Manuel theory of the TKO I want to say there are a few ways with me that can ensure that you get a hot dub (win), or a hot l (a loss).

First let me explain how to get a Hot L:

So first of all saying anything blatantly racist things ex. (none of these are exaggerations and have occurred in real life) "black people should go to jail, black death/racism has no impact, etc" anything like this will get you a HOT L


Next way to get a HOT L is if your argumentation is dies early in the debate like during the cx following your first speech ex. I judged an LD debate this year where following the 1nc the cx from the affirmative went as follows " AFF: you have read just two off NEG: YES AFF: OK onto your Disad your own evidence seems to indicate multiple other polices that should have triggered your impact so your disad seems to then have zero uniqueness do you agree with this assessment? Neg: yes Aff: OK onto your cp ALL of the procedures that the cp would put into place are happening in the squo so your cp is the squo NEG RESPONDS: YES In a case like this or something similar this would seem to be a HOT L I have isolated an extreme case in order to illustrate what I mean

Last way to the HOT L is if you have no knowledge of a key concept to your argument let me give a few examples

I judged a debate where a team read an aff about food stamps and you have no idea what an EBT card this can equal a HOT L, in a debate about the intersection between Islamaphobia and Anti-Blackness not knowing who Louis Farrakhan is, etc etc

I believe this gives a good clear idea of who I am as judge happy debating

Sarah Roberts Paradigm

6 rounds

about me:

was denver independent/denverlake independent, 2x qualified to the toc, senior at berkeley (gobears), coach for harker.

my email is sarahhroberts@berkeley.edu – please put me on the email chain.

unsortable thoughts:

· larp>>good k debate>>>theory heavy debate>>bad k debate>>tricks and phil

· i flow cx -- that means i’m exhausted of the arg that "cx doesn't check because judges don't flow it", that doesn't mean you don't need to make the arguments you establish in your actual speech.

· i’m not into postrounding. this includes but is not limited to: talking at me for thirty minutes, trying to re-read your 2nr at me, sending me excessive emails about why you think my decision is wrong. if you have had me in the back and have postrounded me every time, you should... maybe think about redoing your pref sheet!

· i would much rather hear your well-fleshed out disad than some generic topic k with no link explanation.

· explain what perm do both looks like (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

· if you want/will need me to look at an interp/counterinterp/perm you read, those things should be flashed within the speech doc. i will hold you to what is written in the doc -- no shifty changing in cx!!

· given how clear it is to me that no one can really flow a debate round as it is delivered based on prep time just becoming a spec review, you are fine to toss out a "slow" at your opponents if you can't flow/understand at their top speed. this is better than you asking 1000 clarification questions during your prep time.

· flex prep means asking questions during prep time - in no world does unused cx time become prep time - what?????

· getting the round started before the start time + being efficient: +.2 speaks. why can't anyone start the email chain on time anymore makes me sad :<


speaks --

here are my averages from the past tournaments (total average, at present, is a 28.53). things that help speaks: technical competence, getting the round started on time, good articulation of k lit, bataille

· damus: 28.11

· marks: 28.32

· presentation: 28.68

· greenhill: 28.58

· greenhill rr: 28.96

general --

almost everything in the sections below applies to the way i evaluate debates, but here are some specific things that i hold true when judging these rounds. with some small exceptions, (i would like to think) i approach judging relatively similarly to rodrigo paramo (thx for teaching me ld!).

· if the 2nr is split, it will hurt your speaker points

· i will evaluate judge kick arguments

· please slow down on theory

· bracketing is not good, disclosure definitely is. be reasonable here though -- if your opponent literally has never heard of the wiki and you immediately try to crush them on disclosure theory, i will be unhappy :<

· i am not very persuaded by frivolous theory arguments and will hold responses to a lower level of depth than with well developed, pertinent theory args. if you have to ask me if a theory arg is frivolous before the round i think you probably know what the answer is.

· rvis – primarily on topicality – are not persuasive to me

k affs –

things you need to do when you’re reading these sorts of affs

· utilize 1ac ev through the whole debate and contextualize your answers to the theories in your aff

· explain exactly what the aff does/aims to do – are you working towards a paradigmatic shift in how we approach (x) policy or are you criticizing the structure of debate itself? what does voting aff do to resolve those issues?

· understand that teams sometimes just read framework because they don’t know how else to necessarily engage your aff.

· have good background knowledge... i'm so unenthused by people who pull out their ~fire~ baudrillard aff and then make args about creating meaning being good... like what? i will you to a high standard of background knowledge and contextualization/explanation.

i feel more qualified to judge high theory args than i do performances or args centered on individual identity.

fw vs k affs –

my record shows me leaning slightly more neg on framework vs k affs (maybe around 60/40?) presuming you’re not reading fairness impacts (in which case it drops to like 30/70). i think arguments about the specific mobilization/utilization of skills gained uniquely from debate tend to be much more convincing. things i’d like to see in these debates:

· examples of how movements outside of the political sphere have used political knowledge to further their cause

· reasons why knowing about the way legal systems work/interact is good

· a defense of fiat/hypothetical discussions of policies

· contextualized case arguments (which can often answer back for the “they didn’t engage us” claims)

policy affs vs ks –

too many teams pivot to the left when they hear a k in the 1nc. just defend what you did in the 1ac and explain why it’s good. some things that i think are important to do in these debates:

· win framework/win fiat/win why hypothetical discussions of policies are good

· answer the long k overview from the 2nc

· be able to explain/give examples of what the permutation will look like (you definitely get a perm)

· actually debate the k rather than just reading author indicts

· not back down from big stick impacts. you know what ground you get against literally every baudrillard k? heg good.

ks –

you need to have background knowledge of the lit and arguments, i will know if you just pulled a backfile out or haven't engaged with the lit in necessary ways! i only ever went one off in high school so i will expect a high level of articulation from you in regards to explaining your arguments and contextualizing them to the aff specifically. some things i’d like to see in a k debate

· specific quotes being pulled from the 1ac on the 2nc link debate

· technical debating rather than reading a 6 min o/v and saying it answers all the aff arguments

· having a good, in-depth explanation of the theory of your argument/why and how it interacts with the aff in cx when asked about it

· bataille

some authors i have read/continue to read in my free time/am knowledgeable about (bets are off for anyone not listed) ranked from most liked to “ehhhh”:

irigaray (bring her back), bataille, baudrillard, spanos (bring him back), lacan/psychoanalysis, berlant, edelman, deleuze/deleuze and guattari

disads –

i love seeing a well debated disad as much as i love seeing a well debated critique. i think it is really important to have good evidence and good analysis in these debates.

i am less familiar with very specific political processes disads so i may need more explanation of those whether that occurs in a quick 2nc overview or in cx given the opportunity. some things i’d like to see:

· good case engagement along with the disad. this means good impact calc as well as judge instruction

· clear explanation of the political scenario you're reading if it's a politics disad, clear analysis on the link chains if it's not a politics disad

· actual cards after the 1nc

counterplans –

truly a 2n at heart; i’ll grant you a lot of leniency in how shifty your counterplans can be. i think really specific counterplans are one of the greatest things to see in debate.

· if you cut your cp evidence from 1ac evidence/authors you’ll get a boost in speaks!

· i also think (specific, not generic word) piks/pics are pretty underutilized -- especially against k affs – i’d love to see more of these.

· i don’t think explanation-less "perm do the counterplan" or "perm do the aff" are legit.

theory –

less qualified to judge these debates imo, but will still listen to them. please slow down and don't spread through blocks -- i'll stop flowing if i can't understand it.

i have no tolerance for frivolous theory. if you are reading arguments related to what your opponents wear or what esoteric word needs to be in the 1ac, i will not enjoy the debate and will most likely not vote for you!

topicality –

a good block/2nr contains a well thought out and developed interpretation of what the topic is/view of how the topic should be explained and debated in regards to specific arguments that can/cannot be justified vis a vis the topic wording.

i really like to see good lists in t debates (untopical affs made topical by the aff’s interp, clearly topical affs that are excluded by the neg’s interp, etc).

nebel is fine to read in front of me because it’s a warranted argument! there is no good world in which somebody can just say ‘nebel bad vote aff’ and win on that! this should not be so controversial!

case debate –

there needs to be more of it in every debate. go for impact turns. i love dedev. recutting aff cards.... amazing.

ethics/rhetoric –

i'm not into rhetoric violations. please ensure that it is not just a singular slip of the tongue -- often times a mention in cx/the speech and a genuine apology from the team who said it suffices and provides more education overall.

if there is egregious/violent language, i will take it upon myself to appropriately intervene and adjudicate on a case-by-case basis.

i'm lenient on ethics violations. if an ethics violation is called, i will stop the round after getting evidence of the violation from the team that called it and make my decision based on the tournament invite, the ndca rules, and the round itself.

Hailey Robertson Paradigm

1 rounds

I did policy for 4 years at Washburn Rural High School (2013-17) in Kansas and I currently debate for the University of Southern California (2021).

Email: hailey.danielle98@gmail.com


- I'm probably more "good" for technical DA/CP strategies than high theory K's, but my voting record shows I’ll vote for any style of argument. As a debater, I have always been a 2N which probably shapes how I think about debate to an extent. Throughout my career, I’ve read both policy + critical affs, and on the negative, most often go for politics, framework, Marx, topic DAs/CPs, etc.

- I will immediately vote against arguments that are moral blackmail (and tank your speaks for trying), regardless of how they are answered by your opponent. This applies to “vote for me or else I have to quit” and similar arguments. If you have a concern like this, talk to your opponent/coaches, but do not make me the arbiter of that decision. These debates really weigh on me as a judge and are bad for my (and maybe your opponent’s) mental health, so please don’t put me in this position, you’ve been warned. You will be angry when I immediately vote against you, and I will not care.

**More pet peeve/other things at bottom, but basically, don't be rude, don't cheat, and know that I am a mandatory reporter!

Critical Affs v FW:

These debates can be some of the most engaging or most boring, in my opinion. My biggest qualm is with teams - either side - that don't tailor their positions to answer the specifics of their opponent's argument. In cases that I vote negative, I find that it is often because aff teams don't generate offense beyond "USFG bad." That said, many neg FW arguments seem to be just repetitive cliches or unresponsive blocks that they stole from a college team (and thus can't articulate args beyond the block). I generally think affs should have some relation to the topic, but saying “JuDgE tHeY dIdN’t sAy UsFg” isn’t going to get the job done.

Policy Affs vs T:

T is always a voter and never a reverse voter. I default to competing interpretations, and generally think that I think that limits are the most persuasive standard for evaluating T. That said, I don’t think limits or ground are impacts on their own — it’s simply an internal link to education, fairness, etc.


I generally believe theory is a reason to reject the arg, not the team. Exception is condo/disclosure (maybe?) but that doesn’t mean I want to hear a theory debate. Does anyone? If you must, contextualize your violation to the round + give warranted analysis why something should/should not be theoretically allowed in debate. Please slow down in these debates and give me pen time. Tech over truth, but the args need to be warranted and impacted.


I like politics DAs, love case specific DAs, and Hate "The Spending DA."

I'm not a fan of politics theory args, or DA theory args generally. If the DA's so bad, beat it on substance.

I also will not assign zero (or 100%) risk to an advantage/DA unless there is an explicitly dropped argument.


CPs that are usually good:

- PICs

- Advantage

- Process (though some people have tested me recently lmao)

These CPs are more susceptible to theory but still generally enjoyed:

- International fiat

- States (especially those cheat-y multi plank ones)

- Consult/conditions

Not a fan:

- Word PICs

- Delay

** this is not a comprehensive list, just a few common ones

Not super technical in my knowledge of CP theory, mostly due to a lack of interest.


I believe that fiat and the ability of the aff to weigh their impacts are generally good. I have debated kritiks from both sides, but have not read as much of the literature (especially for high theory arguments), so I will need you to explain your argument very clearly to me. I would prefer if it was obvious to me what your argument is in the 1NC -- if you have a performative argument, it would help if you allocated time in the first speech to establish links, rather than just hoping I can deduce them from the thesis of your K. If you do not articulate your argument until the block, I will be sympathetic to new 1AR/2AR answers. Ultimately, I will not vote on something if I do not know what it means, so don't just read a K in hopes of confusing your opponents -- I will probably be really confused too.

I generally believe that links should be as specific to the aff as possible -- links to the status quo or links of omission are not links -- they're solvency deficits or FYI's about how messed up the world is and will likely lose to a perm. I enjoy block strategies that pick specific lines from evidence/look at author quals and use that to generate offense for the K.

Kritiks that claim death is good will probably never win my ballot, just a heads up. Before you read these type of arguments, you should also ask the other team for triggers. DBAD.

LD Stuff:

Because I judge this a bit now...

1. I don't think RVIs are real args.

2. Framing contentions don't substitute for impact explanations and vise versa. If you say that most DA link chains are highly improbable you have to prove that by contesting the links, not just repeating Nate Cohn's math at me.

3. More likely to vote on theory here than in policy (still would prefer not to), as long as it's not like about font size.

Pet Peeves:

- Asking your opponents for argument clarification and which cards they did/didn't read and pretending it’s not prep

- Asking questions outside of CX and expecting me to listen

- Reading your blocks monotone at 100% speed

- The phrases: “method debate” “logical policy maker could do both” “fiat solves the link”

- Not listening during the RFD

- Being mean, laughing during speeches, etc — I’ll drop your speaks significantly.

- Bad/miscut/misrepresented evidence.

- Not pointing out that someone’s evidence is bad.

I'm still working on developing my speaker point scale and will adjust by tournament/division, but generally:

29.4+ -- Top 5

29-29.3 -- Speaker Award

28.6-28.9 -- Good, hope you clear

28.0-28.5 -- Didn't do anything wrong

27s -- Dropping arguments, ending speeches early, etc.

Below that -- you did something offensive


I am a mandatory reporter because I am employed by a high school, so if your position includes disclosure of sexual harassment/violence, I am required by law to stop the round and report. If it is something that you feel unsafe about, I am more than happy to assist you in finding the resources necessary to remedy the problem, but I ask they do not become a central component in the debate. That's not to say your concerns are not welcome or invalid, but I'd rather pursue a solution rather than give you a ballot and move on with my day.

Ben Rosenthal Paradigm

6 rounds


Put me on the chain. rosenthalb17@gmail.com – if you ask you’ll just seem unprepared.

I coach at USC and the Marlborough School. I debated/coached for MBA in the past.

Your burden should be to make it make sense. You don't want me doing that for you.


This Paradigm---X--------------------------------Paragraphs of me ranting


Read no cards-------------------X----------------Read all the cards

Longer ev--------X---------------------------------More ev

Clarity-X--------------------------------------------Speed (? Shouldn’t t/o)

Always 1%----------------------------X----------0% Risk a Thing

2020 speaker points------------X-----------------2010 speaker points

Resting grumpy face--------------------------X---Grumpy face is your fault

AT: --X-----------------------------------------------A2:

Yellow Highlighting-X-------------------------------Anything Else (Blue is fine ig)

Insert rehighlighting-X----------------------------I read what you read

LD Specific

Nebel T-------------------------------------------X--Read a Plan

RVI-------------------------------------------------X-Make Real Args

Tricks/Phil----------------------------------------X--Real Args

Neg Bias------------------------------X-------------Get Over It

A couple other things that didn’t fit the model:

1. Asking what cards were/weren’t read counts as prep/cx time

2. I judge these rounds as if they are short policy round – the should/ought distinction matters very little to me

K vs Policy


Feelings----------------------------------X---------Dead inside

Truth Testing=Presumption----------------------X-Lmao Try Again

Flip Neg = No FW-----------------------------X----FW is a Strategy (not necessarily a good one)

Fairness is a thing-----------X-------------------Tautology

Vote to affirm me-----------------------------X--Vote to affirm my argument

Fiat double bind-----------------------------------X--literally any other arg

Not our Baudrillard-------------------------------X Yes your Baudrillard

Generally am gonna default to alt vs plan on the K - epistemology, reps, etc., are important but I don't understand what it means to view that in a vacuum

Generally I enjoy K vs a Policy Aff, but am less excited to judge a framework debate

Policy v Policy

Conditionality good----------X--------------------Conditionality bad

States CP good---------------------------X-------States CP bad

Politics DA is a thing-------------------------X---Politics DA not a thing

Reasonibility---------------------------X-----------Competing interps

Limits------------------X-----------------------------Aff ground

Circumvention--------------X----------------------Durable Fiat

Disclaimer about RFDs:

I don't like telling people they lose in close rounds, and my natural response to anxiety is to be very smile-y. If you see me smiling while deciding or explaining my rfd please don't assume it means I'm going to vote one way or another, or that I was really excited for voting the way I did.

Pet Peeves/Other Stuff

Please do not call me "judge" lmao

Don't put ASPEC or some other dumb theory blip as a standard on T and expect me to drop you a 29.5 when you win on it. I'll lean toward new 1AR args on this (esp if you didn't read ev or ask in cx) and your speaks won't look pretty. Don't makes args that only would be winnable if dropped.

Don't call the roll of the ballot and "are oh bee" or the Counterplan the "cee pee" - u arent edgy

Excessive use of "the debate space" oh my lord pls no – and other debate-isms “uniquely key” “fundamentally important”

cards that are tagged "extinction" and nothing else :(

If your partner says something during your speech, I would prefer you repeat it rather than just assuming I'll flow what they said. The exception is performative aspects of speeches.

Asking what cards were read before prep time if the other team didn't mark any cards. Obviously exceptions to this, but in general I don't think you should get extra prep because you didn't flow. You have a right to ask, but not outside of prep time.

Labeling their flows "their ___" i.e. "go to their t, next on their CP"

"combining speech docs" and saying its not prep is a lie

Ekta Shah Paradigm

6 rounds

Updated during Harvard Westlake 2019 because my previous paradigm was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo.

TLDR because you could be reading a more interesting NYT article or somthng:

· I’m not a former debater.

· I’m not a current debater either, although I am often mistaken for one.

· I’ve been teaching high school English and coaching Speech and Debate at Quarry Lane for the past three years.

· Debate is a safe space. I won’t tolerate anyone that violates this. No exceptions.

· My former student Allen Abbott said it best: Debate is still problematic in many ways. If there is anything I can do to make the round more accessible, please let me know beforehand.

· Convince me why I should vote for you and you can win. It’s that simple.

· My email is eshah@quarrylane.org. Start an email chain.

· Extra kudos to those who wear Northwestern merch. Go Wildcats!

Chirjeev Singh Paradigm

3 rounds

Please add me to email chain: Email: schirjeev@gmail.com

Framework: Tend to stay away from framework debates. I care about the actual arguments that you present. If disagreement continues explain why you also apply to their framework. If Framework is very complicated, explain it in a less complicated manner. If I’m not able to understand what you are trying to convey, chances are I won’t vote for you.

K Debaters: I am fine with Kritiks as long as they are topical to the resolution. Make sure to be very clear on your links and explain as to why it should be extended. If I am not clear on how you solve for your K, I will drop it.

Theory Debates: I don’t prefer theory debates. If you’re reading high theory, make sure to explain it as low theory so I can understand properly.

Go a little bit slower than you would usually just to make sure I get everything on the flow.

Kayla Soren Paradigm

6 rounds

email chain/questions: kaylasoren@gmail.com

Background info: I debated LD for 4 years at DuPont Manual and graduated in 2016. I coach independents and go to USC.


I keep a thorough flow of the round (not the speech doc), and I will do my best to judge solely off of it. Layer the debate and tell me which layers come first. I will listen to any argument, but I will dock speaks or drop you if you’re being blatantly offensive. In and out of round, we should be as empathetic and inclusive as possible.


I like some sort of framework to evaluate the round. I don't care what kind. If you’re running obscure philosophy, don’t assume I have background in it. I do like phil rounds, so don't hesitate to run it!


I am definitely more persuaded by affirmatives that advance an answer to the resolution. Negatives need to have very specific links to the affirmative. Explain the alt and why it solves for its impacts well. If you're against a legitimate k about social issues, you should engage the k. I will not be persuaded if you solely run theory/T on it. Performance k’s are cool.


Default competing interps, no RVIs, drop argument. If you go for reasonability, tell me how to evaluate what is reasonable. If there are multiple shells, weigh between them. Ask me before the round about particular shells if you want. PLEASE DO NOT RUN FRIVOLOUS THEORY OR TRICKS


- Flashing isn't prep

- High speaks come from good strategy and if I think you should break.

- Impact calc is very important

- Please don't hesitate to collapse the round

- If you're going against an opponent in which you are by far the more experienced debater, be helpful and considerate. Win the round kindly!

- Females, I shouldn't have to say this, but I full-heartedly support your aggression.

- Permissibility and presumption are not persuasive.

- I think debate is a game to an extent, but I do think it is a place for fostering meaningful discourse and change.

Jasmine Stidham Paradigm

-Pronouns: she/her. I will default to using they/them if I don't know you.

-Yes, put me on the chain. jasminestidham@gmail.com

-I coach/teach at the Harvard-Westlake school, I'm an assistant coach for Dartmouth, and I work at UM 7 Week in one of the seniors labs. I debated at the University of Central Oklahoma for 4 years and graduated in 2018- qualified to the NDT 4x, NDT octafinalist 2x, 1st round recipient, etc.

-LD skip down to the bottom.

Tldr: Flexibility

-No judge will ever like all of the arguments you make, but I will always attempt to evaluate them fairly. I appreciate judges who are willing to listen to positions from every angle, so I try to be one of those judges. I have coached strictly policy teams, strictly K teams, and everything in between because I enjoy all aspects of the game. Debate should be fun and you should debate in the way that makes it valuable for you, not me. My predispositions about debate are not so much ideological as much as they are systematic, i.e. I don't care which set of arguments you go for, but I believe every argument must have a claim, warrant, impact, and a distinct application. I think "tech" matters. Dropping a bunch of arguments means your "truth" claims aren't so true anymore. Evidence quality matters a lot to me. Stop reading cards that don't have a complete sentence and get off my lawn. I strive to be as non-interventionist as possible. Impact framing/judge instruction will get you far. The predispositions I have listed below are my general heuristics I use when making a decision, but I will ultimately vote for the team who wins their argument, even if it strays from these conventions. I appreciate debaters who do their thing and do it well.

-Please, for the love of god, give me some pen time before you start off 0-100.

-Don't base your strategy off of your (probably incorrect) assumptions about my own debate career.

-For everyone: stop being afraid of debate. Cowardice is annoying. Don't run away from controversy just because you don't like linking to things. If you don't like defending arguments, or explaining what your argument actually means, please consider joining the marching band.

-I am growing increasingly annoyed at teams who try to proliferate as many incomplete arguments as possible in the 1NC. If your strategy is to read 5 disads in the 1NC that are missing UQ, or internal links, I will give the aff almost infinite leeway in the 1AR to answer your inevitable sandbagging. I would much rather see well-highlighted, complete positions, than the poor excuse of neg arguments that I'm seeing lately. No one likes cards that could be read as fortune cookies.

-I'm grumpy, but I promise I care a lot.

-Some judges I always appreciated having in the back of the room when I debated: Toya Green, Kristen Lowe, Courtney Schauer, Jyleesa Hampton, Corey Fisher, Hunter McFarland, Will Jensen, Martin Osborn, Allie Chase, Scott Phillips, Kristiana Baez, Kurt Fifelski, Becca Steiner, Travis Cram, Marquis Ard, Sarah Lundeen, Geoff Lundeen, Brian McBride, Andrew Myers, Samantha Rippetoe, Michael Wimsatt.

Topicality: Everyone needs to have evidence that has the intent to define whatever word/phrase is being contested. Evidence that offhandedly mentions how one rando decided to define 'space cooperation' doesn't cut the mustard. *Predictable* limits outweighs limits merely for the sake of limits.

Framework: I vote for framework and I vote against it. I judge a lot of "clash" debates and I'm probably even in terms of my voting record. In my ideal world, affs would defend a clear, controversial advocacy that has predictable neg ground against it, but I understand that debate isn't about me. Affs should have a counter interpretation/model of debate that they think is desirable. I am less likely to vote aff solely on impact turns because I really need to know what the aff's 'vision of debate' looks like compared to the neg. I understand that going HAM on impact turns is sometimes more strategic, so if that's really your style you should stick to it, but you must contextualize those impact turns to whatever DAs the neg is going for and do comparative impact work. I find myself voting neg a lot just by virtue of the aff never doing impact calculus. Unpersuaded by the argument that topical versions should have to solve literally everything ever in a 9 minute speech. Judge instruction is extremely important- please tell me what to evaluate first. I'm fine with any 'flavor' of framework- procedural fairness, skillz, deliberative democracy, etc. Do your thing. The neg needs to explain how the TVAs access the aff's general theory/scholarship, what those affs look like, and how it (could) resolve the aff's impact turns.

Critical affirmatives (no plan): Beyond what I have said about framework, there are a couple things you can do to make sure we're on the same page. First, I need you to answer the question of "but what do you doooo tho?!" even though that question seems obsolete. I don't need a 5 minute overview explaining every part of the aff. I really just need to know what I am voting for and why that thing is good, which seems really simple, but in many debates I am left wondering what I'm supposed to vote for. Second, I am often persuaded by presumption if the neg invests a decent amount of time going for it properly. To counter this, make sure you do the minimum of answering the BWDYDT?! question above, and perhaps give me a different way of thinking about presumption as it applies to critical affirmatives. Third, you need to have a solid relationship to/critique of the resolution. If you read 9 minutes of structural claims about the world and say virtually nothing about the resolutional mechanism, we're not going to be on the same page.

Disads: Love em. I will reiterate an important component: do not hand me a stack of cards at the end of a debate that do not have complete sentences. I would rather read 5, solid, well-highlighted UQ cards than 10 poopy cards that say "it'll pass but it's clooooose!" without ever highlighting anything beyond that sentence. Uniqueness controls the direction of uniqueness and the link controls the direction of the link- not sure why that's controversial.

Counterplans: Love em too. My only predisposition is that I tend to think conditionality is okay, in most circumstances. Some teams try to get away with murder, though. I lean neg when the CP is based in the literature/there's a reasonable solvency advocate. I lean aff when the CP meets neither of those conditions. Judge kick: will only judge kick if told to do so, assuming the aff hasn't made any theoretical objections.

Kritiks: For everyone, please focus on argument development and application in these debates rather than reading 15 poopy backfile cards that probably won't get you anything.

-Stop with the mega overviews. I am not one who will particularly like the style of 6 minute overviews, and then answering the line by line with "ya that was the overview"-- just say those things on the line by line!

-Framework: it's important- the most common mistake I see the aff make is failing to develop substantive framework arguments about legal/institutional/pragmatic engagement. I often see the 1AR get bogged down going for random blurbs about fairness, which ultimately ends up being a wash. You get to weigh your aff. Now explain why I should prioritize your form of political engagement to outweigh the neg's ethics/epistemology/ontology 1st argument(s).

-Impact framing: also important- for the aff, even if the neg does not read case defense, do not make the mistake in assuming that you auto-win. You have to win a subsequent impact framing argument that tells me why those impacts matter. For the neg, the inverse applies. If you do not read case defense, you obviously have to win your impact framing arguments.

-Roles of the ballot are arbitrary. My role is to tell tab who won. Just win your impact framing argument and stop telling me the ballot has a role. PLEASE.

-Really hate it when the first question of 1AC CX is, "why vote aff?"

-1 card Ks in the 1NC can sufficiently be responded to with a thumbs down + fart noise

-If your strategy involves going for some version of "all debate is bad, this activity is meaningless and only produces bad people" please consider who your audience is. Of course you can make arguments about flaws in specific debate practices, but you should also recognize that the "debate is irredeemable" position is a tough sell to someone who has dedicated her life to the activity and tries to make it better.

-Floating PIKs: if the neg makes a PIK that clearly ~floats~ and it's flagged as such, it's up to the aff to call it out- I won't do the theory work for you. If you can't identify it/flush it out in CX, you deserve to lose.

-Examples are incredibly helpful in these debates, especially when making structural claims about the world.

Evidence: Evidence quality correlates with a higher chance of winning. Good evidence does not, however, substitute for good debating. You should be doing evidence comparison. Basic logic will always beat a terrible card without a warrant.

-If you clip, you will lose the round and receive 0 speaks. Seriously, don't cheat. I will vote against you for clipping EVEN IF the other team does not call you on it. I know what clipping is and feel 100% comfortable calling it. Mark your ev and have a marked copy available.

-Shady disclosure practices result in you catching the L. Stop being a coward.

-If I say "clear" more than two times I will stop flowing. I say clear more than most judges because debaters are getting away with murder in terms of clarity.

-If you are a jerk to novices your max for speaker points is a 25.

-Biggest pet peeve: debaters being unnecessarily difficult in cross-ex. This includes asking absurdly vague/irrelevant questions and debaters refusing to answer questions. This also includes cutting people off, and giving excessively drawn out answers to questions that can be answered efficiently. Please recognize that cross-ex is a mutual part of the debate.

-If you want me to evaluate the debate outside of line-by-line, that's fine, just tell me what that looks like so we're on the same page.

-Be respectful to each other, which includes your partner. Pettiness/sarcasm is appreciated, but recognize that there is a line and you shouldn't cross it. You should never, ever make any jokes about someone else's appearance or how they sound.

-If there are any access requirements, just let me know.

LD Specific:

Updated October 2019 to reflect efficiency and a few changes.

Tldr; I come from an exclusively policy background. I had zero experience in LD before I started coaching HW last year. That means everything you do is largely filtered through my experience in policy debate, and I have outlined my thoughts on those specific arguments in the above sections. This is why I am a horrible judge for LD shenanigans and will not tolerate them. So many acceptable LD arguments would be nonstarters in policy, and I will not vote for incomprehensible arguments just because other judges will. I don't say this to disparage someone's preferred form of debate, but I really can't vote for arguments that do not pass the 'makes sense' test. I care deeply about the educational aspects of debate, and will always try to help you improve. However, I am going to hold the line when ridiculous arguments are involved. See the FAQ below to determine if you should pref me.


Q: I read a bunch of tricks/meta-theory/a prioris/paradoxes, should I pref you?

A: Absolutely not.

Q: I read phil, should I pref you?

A: I'm not ideologically opposed to phil arguments like I am with tricks. I do not judge many phil debates because most of the time tricks are involved.

Q: I really like Nebel T, should I pref you?

A: No, you shouldn't. I'm sure he's a nice and smart guy, but cutting evidence from debate blogs is such a meme. If you'd like to make a similar argument, just find non-Nebel articles and I'll be fine.

Q: I like to make theory arguments like 'must spec status' or 'must include round reports for every debate' or 'new affs bad,' should I pref you?

A: Absolutely not.

Q: Will you ever vote for an RVI?

A: Nope. Never.

Q: Will you vote for any theory arguments?

A: Of course. I am good for more policy-oriented theory arguments like condo good/bad, PICs good/bad, process CPs good/bad, etc.

Q: Will you vote for Ks?

A: Of course. Love em. See policy section.

Any other questions can be asked before the round or email me.

Chris Theis Paradigm

6 rounds

THIS IS SUPER OLD. HAVE NOT UPDATED SINCE ~2012. Please ask if you have questions.

I'm meaning to update soon...

Affiliation: Apple Valley High School (MN)

Email: ctheis09@gmail.com

Relevant Arguments

I default to viewing the resolution as a normative question, not a question of truth. However, that does not mean that what truth is necessarily irrelevant to normative decision making. With a well-developed justification, I will vote on most truth testing arguments. I prefer that debaters have a clear and specific advocacy. Each side needs to defend a world in order to be able to generate uniqueness for offensive arguments. Thus, both debaters need to be able to articulate a world they are defending in a more coherent way than "not x."

I am also generally opposed to voting on defense. In most rounds, I find that the concept of defense being decisive just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. That means that I will be very reluctant to vote on presumption or permissibility arguments that rely on defense to function. It is probably a waste of your time to read presumption arguments in front of me at all. While I can come up with extreme hypothetical situations in which I might vote on presumption, it has never happened.


I am not opposed to theory debates, I used to enjoy them, but I think the sheer volume of awful theory debates I have judged over the past view years has made my threshold for taking them seriously much higher than it used to be. I will still be happy to vote for a good and well-developed argument.

The following are some of my default assumptions on theory:

I default to evaluating theory as an issue of "competing interpretations".

I default to "dropping the arguments" not "dropping the debater."

I default to not viewing theory as an RVI.

I default to evaluating Topicality before other theory arguments.

I default to thinking that the status of a counterplan or K alt is dispositional unless specified otherwise. That does not mean I presume that conditionality is illegitimate, just that if neither debater makes arguments about the status I will assume it is dispositional because I believe that best models the way most other arguments are treated, you must defend arguments that are turned.

I default to thinking that fairness and education are important and that whether debate is "good" or not matters. This is a bias that you will almost certainly not be able to overcome.

All of these assumptions can be changed by debaters (except probably the last one) who make good arguments against them in round. I prefer that any arguments about my default assumptions be explained in context of the specific arguments that are at issue in the theory debate and not just be about those assumptions generally. For example, do not argue "you need to drop the debater to discourage bad debate practices." Do argue, " "you need to drop the debater because X argument has Y effect which makes dropping them the best solution."

I think that theory debates are messy because debaters are even worse at weighing theory arguments than they are at weighing most other arguments. The reason for that is that while there is a framework debate that determines the relevance of post-fiat arguments, debaters put no effort into developing what it means to be fair or educational in a way that allows for effective weighing later in the round. If you want me to buy your theory argument spend time developing a concrete conception of what it means to be fair or educational in the context of debate and use it to filter and weigh impacts.

I dislike the strategy that involves including an argument that demands debaters run interps by their opponent. It is just an excuse to change your advocacy after the fact because you are not ready to defend it. As long as debaters establish clear links in CX that is enough for me.


I will use the framework that is justified by the debaters in the round. I do not view the value/criterion as necessary. In fact, I think in many cases the value/criterion model actually makes the debate more convoluted and can create irrational decisions. As a result, I am very open to alternative frameworks. As a general rule I do not enjoy rounds in which the majority of the time is spent on framework. Battling Util/Deont dumps are frustrating and boring to judge. I want to hear a debate ABOUT THE TOPIC. Framework should explain why topical arguments are important they should not become the entire debate unless you are looking for terrible speaks.


I think that credible arguments must be supported by evidence. In general, I will prefer arguments supported by evidence to analytic arguments. That is because in most cases I feel that experts writing on the topic are probably more qualified that a 17-year-old high school student. This is especially true of empirical arguments.


I assign speaks based on a combination of stagey and how much I enjoyed or was annoyed by the round. Debates that I enjoy involve debate about the topic, debaters who I can understand, debaters who are smart and engaging, debaters who are pleasant to each other.

30: Amazing. I think you are debating your positions better than anyone else at the tournament could. You could not only win this tournament but would have a chance to win any tournament in which you debated at the level you did in this round.
29: Fantastic. Very few people could do a better job at debating your position. You have a good shot at making it to late outrounds.
28: Good. You did what you had to do and did not have very many large mistakes. You should clear.
27: All right. You did an adequate job. You will be close to clearing but it could go either way.
26: Below Average. You should not clear.
25: Bad: You need major improvements in pretty much every aspect of debate. Your record should be below .500.
<25: Offensive or offensively bad.

Arguments that I will not vote for

An argument that has no normative implications, except in situations where the debater develops and wins an argument that changes my default assumptions.

A strategy that attempts to wash the debate on purpose in order to trigger permissibility/presumption.

A contingent framework/advocacy that is "triggered" in a later speech.

Arguments/Practices I will immediately drop you for

Any argument that concludes that every action is permissible

Any argument that creates a hostile environment for either myself, the other debater, or anyone who is watching the debate.

Any argument that explicitly argues that something that we all agree is awful (genocide, rape, etc) is actually a good thing. This could either be an advocacy or a framework THAT THE DEBATER AGREES says horrible things are ok. If the other debater wins an argument that your framework justifies something horrible, but it is contested, then it may count as a reason to not accept your framework, but I will not drop you for it.

Aaron Timmons Paradigm

2 rounds

Aaron Timmons

Director of Debate – Greenhill School

Updated – April 2019

Please put me on the email chain – timmonsa@greenhill.org

New for the TOC 2019 – I am the Director of the Global Debate Symposium and for this summer I have hired Spencer Paul and Vishan Chaudhary from Harvard Westlake, and Ishan Bhatt from St. Andrews of the list of competitors that will be in the 2019 TOC competing in Lincoln Douglas.

Lincoln - Douglas Philosophy

I have coached debate, and been a classroom teacher, for a long time. I feel that when done well, with agreed upon “rules of engagement”, there is not a better activity to provide a training ground for young people. That said, at some point, most of the adults have left the building as it relates to national circuit Lincoln Douglas debate. I find many of the things that are now commonplace, are antithetical to the things that I love about debate. In fact, many of these practices are not educational, but also make the activity unsustainable in any meaningful way to sell to administrators, parents, new coaches, or even a new generation of debaters.

I have taken some time to reflect on how I judge debates, and have revised my paradigm. It would behoove you to read it if I have the potential to judge you. If you do not like what you read, strike me.

Debate rounds, and subsequently debate tournaments, are extensions of the classroom. While we all learn from each other, my role is parallel to that of an instructor. I will evaluate your performance. At this stage in my career, I have no interest in being the “most preferred” judge in the pool. In fact, what I see is that many in the Lincoln Douglas community (as opposed to policy debate); make preferences more based on personal relationships, than the relative experience/paradigmatic perspective of the critic. I see my role as to set a fair, but stringent, set of expectations for the students I am judging. At times, this means advancing expectations that I feel are best for the students and, at times, the broader community as well. At this point, I am also not shy to share those thoughts and expectations. I see myself as a critic of argument if I had to pigeonhole myself with a paradigmatic label. Unlike many claim to be, I am not a blank slate. If I see behaviors or practices that create a bad, unfair, or hostile environment for the extension of the classroom that is the debate round, I will intervene. I WILL do my best to be an objective evaluator of your argument but the idea that my social location is not a relevant consideration of how I view/decode arguments is just not true (nor do I personally think it is true for anyone).

Below please find a few thoughts as to how I evaluate debates.

1. Speed is not a problem. In most of the Lincoln Douglas I judge, clarity IS a problem. I judge high level policy debates quite a bit and while they are quiet fast, I don’t see clarity as much of an issue with the top teams. Please understand that unstructured paragraphs that are slurred together does not allow the pen time necessary to write things down in the detail you think it might. I reserve the right to yell “clearer” once or twice. Style and substance are fundamentally inseparable.

2. I feel theory is debated far too much in Lincoln – Douglas, and is debated poorly. I am strongly opposed to that practice. My preference is NOT to hear a bad theory debate. I believe the negative does get some “flex”, that said it can’t be unlimited. The idea of reading a “counter shell” against a theory argument is one of the silliest practices I see in contemporary debate. Before the proliferation of theory in Lincoln Douglas I thought RVI’s were silly. They have a place in contemporary LD. I DO NOT think jettisoning the case and going all in on the RVI should be the A strategy in the 1ar. While I like competing interpretations, in the end, I feel even that view is filtered through my perspective of reason/what is reasonable/the best lens for debate. Some intervention is inevitable as we judge.

3. Evidence is important. In my opinion debates/comparisons about the qualifications of authors on competing issues (particularly empirical ones), in addition to a comparison of competing warrants in the evidence, is important. Do you this and not only will your points improve, I am likely to prefer your argument if the comparison is done well. All students should have full cites for materials.

4. I am not a “blank state”. I also feel my role as a judge is to serve a duel function of rendering a decision, in addition to serving a role as educator as well.

5. Words matter. Arguments that are racist, sexist, homophobic etc will not be tolerated.

6. I am not a fan of random; multiple sentence fragments that claim to “spike” out of all of the other teams arguments. At its foundation, debate should be about argument ENGAGEMENT, not evasion.

7. Answer questions in cross-examination. Cross-ex is binding. I do listen carefully to cross – ex.

8. Although I know you have figured it out, Lincoln Douglas does not have a 2AC in the same way that policy does. 1AR’s that advance lots of offense on many negative positions will be rewarded with high points.

9. Debating with a laptop is a choice, if you are reading from a computer I have three expectations that are nonnegotiable:

A) You must jump the documents read to the opposition in a timely manner (before your speech or at worse IMMEDIATELY after your speech) to allow them to prepare or set up an email chain.

B) If your opponent does not have a laptop you need to have a viewing computer OR surrender your computer to them to allow them to prepare. The oppositions need to prep outweighs your need to prep/preflow in that moment in time.

C) My expectation is that the documents that are shared are done in a format that is the same as read by the debater that initially read the material. In other words, I will not tolerate some of the shenanigan’s that seem to exist, including but not limited to, using a non standard word processing program, all caps, no formatting etc.

10. Many debaters have been instructed, or watched others run, “metaethics” with some success. My experience is that many debaters have a very superficial grasp of what this even means. Make sure to explain, and compare your position against the position of your opponent. A good rule of thumb is to assume you don’t win every argument and frame things in an even /if perspective.

11. I do not like skepticism as an argument. It would be in your best interest to not run it in front of me. While perhaps interesting in a philosophy class in college, training young advocates to feel that “morality doesn’t exist” etc. is educationally irresponsible.

12. I do not disclose speaker points. That seems silly to me.

13. Dropped arguments and the “auto-win” seems silly to me. Just because a debater drops a card doesn’t mean you win the debate. Weighing and embedded clash are a necessary component of debate. Good debaters extend their arguments. GREAT debaters do that in addition to explaining the nexus point of clash between their arguments and that of the opposition and WHY I should prefer their argument.

14. I feel it takes more than a sentence (or in many of the rounds I judge a sentence fragment), to make an argument. If the argument was not clear originally, I will allow the opponent to make new arguments.

15. Choose. No matter the speech or the argument.

Please ask me specific questions if you have one before the debate.

Adam Torson Paradigm

UPDATED: 9/12/2018

1998-2003: Competed at Fargo South HS (ND)

2003-2004: Assistant Debate Coach, Hopkins High School (MN)

2004-2010: Director of Debate, Hopkins High School (MN)

2010-2012: Assistant Debate Coach, Harvard-Westlake Upper School (CA)

2012-Present: Debate Program Head, Marlborough School (CA)

Email: adam.torson@gmail.com

General Preferences and Decision Calculus

I like substantive and interesting debate. I like to see good strategic choices as long as they do not undermine the substantive component of the debate. I strongly dislike the intentional use of bad arguments to secure a strategic advantage; for example making an incomplete argument just to get it on the flow. I tend to be most impressed by debaters who adopt strategies that are positional, advancing a coherent advocacy rather than a scatter-shot of disconnected arguments, and those debaters are rewarded with higher speaker points.

I view debate resolutions as normative. I default to the assumption that the Affirmative has a burden to advocate a topical change in the status quo, and that the Negative has a burden to defend either the status quo or a competitive counter-plan or kritik alternative. I will vote for the debater with the greatest net risk of offense. Offense is a reason to adopt your advocacy; defense is a reason to doubt your opponent's argument. I virtually never vote on presumption or permissibility, because there is virtually always a risk of offense.

Moral Skepticism is not normative (it does not recommend a course of action), and so I will not vote for an entirely skeptical position. Morally skeptical arguments may be relevant in determining the relative weight or significance of an offensive argument compared to other offense in the debate.


I am skeptical of impact exclusion. Debaters have a high bar to prove that I should categorically disregard an impact which an ordinary decision-maker would regard as relevant. I think that normative ethics are more helpfully and authentically deployed as a mode of argument comparison rather than argument exclusion. I will default to the assumption of a wide framework and epistemic modesty. I do not require a debater to provide or prove a comprehensive moral theory to regard impacts as relevant, though such theories may be a powerful form of impact comparison.

Arguments that deny the wrongness of atrocities like rape, genocide, and slavery, or that deny the badness of suffering or oppression more generally, are a steeply uphill climb in front of me. If a moral theory says that something we all agree is bad is not bad, that is evidence against the plausibility of the theory, not evidence that the bad thing is in fact good.


I default to evaluating theory as a matter of competing interpretations.

I am skeptical of RVIs in general and on topicality in particular.

I will apply a higher threshold to random theory interpretations that do not reflect existing community norms and am particularly unlikely to drop the debater on them. Because your opponent could always have been marginally more fair and because debating irrelevant theory questions is not a good model of debate, I am likely to intervene against theoretical arguments which I deem to be frivolous.

Tricks and Triggers

Your goal should be to win by advancing substantive arguments that would decisively persuade a reasonable decision-maker, rather than on surprises or contrived manipulations of debate conventions. I am unlikely to vote on tricks, triggers, or other hidden arguments, and will apply a low threshold for answering them. You will score more highly and earn more sympathy the more your arguments resemble genuine academic work product.

Counterplan Status, Judge Kick, and Floating PIKs

The affirmative has the obligation to ask about the status of a counterplan or kritik alternative in cross-examination. If they do not, the advocacy may be conditional in the NR.

I default to the view that the Negative has to pick an advocacy to go for in the NR. If you do not explicitly kick a conditional counterplan or kritik alternative, then that is your advocacy. If you lose a permutation read against that advocacy, you lose the debate. I will not kick the advocacy for you and default to the status quo unless you win an argument for judge kick in the debate.

I default to the presumption that floating PIKs must be articulated as such in the NC. If it is not apparent that the kritik alternative allows you to also enact the affirmative advocacy, then I will regard this argument as a change of advocacy in the NR and disregard it as a new argument.


To the extent possible I will resolve the debate as though I were a reasonable decision-maker considering only the arguments advanced by the debaters in making my decision. On any issues not adequately resolved in this way, I will make reasonable assumptions about the relative persuasiveness of the arguments presented.


The speed at which you choose to speak will not affect my evaluation of your arguments, save for if that speed impairs your clarity and I cannot understand the argument. I prefer debate at a faster than conversational pace, provided that it is used to develop arguments well and not as a tactic to prevent your opponent from engaging your arguments. There is some speed at which I have a hard time following arguments, but I don't know how to describe it, so I will say "clear," though I prefer not to because the threshold for adequate clarity is very difficult to identify in the middle of a speech and it is hard to apply a standard consistently. For reasons surpassing understanding, most debaters don't respond when I say clear, but I strongly recommend that you do so. Also, when I say clear it means that I didn't understand the last thing you said, so if you want that argument to be evaluated I suggest repeating it. A good benchmark is to feel like you are going at 90% of your top speed; I am likely a significantly better judge at that pace.


My threshold for sufficient extensions will vary based on the circumstances, e.g. if an argument has been conceded a somewhat shorter extension is generally appropriate.


It is primarily the responsibility of debaters to engage in meaningful evidence comparison and analysis and to red flag evidence ethics issues. However, I will review speech documents and evaluate detailed disputes about evidence raised in the debate. I prefer to be included on an email chain or pocket box that includes the speech documents. If I have a substantial suspicion of an ethics violation (i.e. you have badly misrepresented the author, edited the card so as to blatantly change it's meaning, etc.), I will evaluate the full text of the card (not just the portion that was read in the round) to determine whether it was cut in context, etc.

Speaker Points

I use speaker points to evaluate your performance in relation to the rest of the field in a given round. At tournaments which have a more difficult pool of debaters, the same performance which may be above average on most weekends may well be average at that tournament. I am strongly disinclined to give debaters a score that they specifically ask for in the debate round, because I utilize points to evaluate debaters in relation to the rest of the field who do not have a voice in the round. I elect not to disclose speaker points, save where cases is doing so is necessary to explain the RFD. My range is approximately as follows:

30: Your performance in the round is likely to beat any debater in the field.

29: Your performance is substantially better than average - likely to beat most debaters in the field and competitive with students in the top tier.

28: Your performance is above average - likely to beat the majority of debaters in the field but unlikely to beat debaters in the top tier.

27.5: Your performance is approximately average - you are likely to have an equal number of wins and losses at the end of the tournament.

26: Your performance is below average - you are likely to beat the bottom 25% of competitors but unlikely to beat the average debater.

25: Your performance is substantially below average - you are competitive among the bottom 25% but likely to lose to other competitors

Below 25: I tend to reserve scores below 25 for penalizing debaters as explained below.

Rude or Unethical Actions

I will severely penalize debaters who are rude, offensive, or otherwise disrespectful during a round. I will severely penalize debaters who distort, miscut, misrepresent, or otherwise utilize evidence unethically.

Card Clipping

A debater has clipped a card when she does not read portions of evidence that are highlighted or bolded in the speech document so as to indicate that they were read, and does not verbally mark the card during the speech. Clipping is an unethical practice because you have misrepresented which arguments you made to both your opponent and to me. If I determine that a debater has clipped cards, then that debater will lose.

To determine that clipping has occurred, the accusation needs to be verified by my own sensory observations to a high degree of certainty, a recording that verifies the clipping, or the debaters admission that s/he has clipped. If you believe that your opponent has clipped, you should raise your concern immediately after the speech in which it was read, and I will proceed to investigate. False accusations of clipping is a serious ethical violation as well. *If you accuse your opponent of clipping and that accusation is disconfirmed by the evidence, you will lose the debate.* You should only make this accusation if you are willing to stake the round on it.


I am happy to answer any questions on preferences or paradigm before the round. After the round I am happy to answer respectfully posed questions to clarify my reason for decision or offer advice on how to improve (subject to the time constraints of the tournament). Within the limits of reason, you may press points you don't understand or with which you disagree (though I will of course not change the ballot after a decision has been made). I am sympathetic to the fact that debaters are emotionally invested in the outcomes of debate rounds, but this does not justify haranguing judges or otherwise being rude. For that reason, failure to maintain the same level of respectfulness after the round that is generally expected during the round will result in severe penalization of speaker points.

Kate Totz Paradigm

6 rounds


  • Please put me on the email chain - ktotz001@gmail.com (the 0's are zeros)
  • If spreading (circuit LD and policy case args only): can flow analytics accurately without a doc ~85% of the time, basically if you want it to be 100% on the flow, send it on the doc.

  • Really big on structure and connecting the dots - lots of good rounds feel like a conspiracy murder board with all of the pins but no string attaching them (Megan Wu)

  • Debate is about advocacy and learning about how to make better advocacies, don’t be rude, don’t take away educational opportunities from others, and have the debate that you want to and we’ll have a good time.


  • Coach at Brentwood and Mirman; specialize in circuit LD, but coach LD, PF, and novice CX so good topic knowledge on most formats.

  • Competed for Maple Grove Senior High in Minnesota for 3 years in PF and LD.


  • I coach PF, I have good topic knowledge
  • I will not do any work for you - if you want me to fully understand an argument, you need to allocate speech time to it.
  • I flow cross - try to not yell or speak over each other or interrupt each other if you want to get anything strategically meaningful out of them.
  • Offense-defense extension in summary is a personal strategy choice based on the end game you see by summary (ie, you do not need to line by line the flow in summary, but no completely new args in final focus.)
  • K's, T, and Theory are all fine strats in PF to me, BUT I do feel like the time structure makes it very difficult to run a K well and fully explain how the K interacts with other arguments on the flow. And the lack of traditional predictability in PF (no disclosure, no set first-speaking side, etc.) makes it harder to run T/Theory, but I'm down to vote on anything as long as you're winning it.
  • Any more questions, ask me before or after round.


  • Non-t affs are cool, but every part of the performance in the debate space needs to be purposeful and impacted out if you are going to go for one. Also, non-t affs need to have some sort of advocacy/alternative/plan that I can engage in order to garner offense.

  • K v. case and K v. T/theory is a debate that should be had in round - how I default on these issues depends on the nature of the K.

  • I don’t think it’s possible to win a K without a clear ‘story’ of how the K functions somewhere in the round - this includes isolating specific links, how those links trigger the impact, what the alt is, and how the alt resolves the impacts of the K, etc. (aka - don't just read a k because I know a lot about k's, read a k because you know a lot about k's)


  • (LD only) I will vote on RVIs, but it tends to be extremely contextual to the round. Meaning that I will probably only sign the ballot on an RVI if the shell is a) not frivolous and b) significantly impacts the way that we think about norms in the debate space.

  • The easiest way to get me to vote on topicality is to think of some sort of empirical way to weigh the impacts of the interp.

    • For example, if you’re gonna collapse to a limits standard, the easiest way to get me to want to vote on it is to give me an approximate number of how far the counter-interp would expand aff ground/how many new affs are possible.

Ananta Wadhwa Paradigm

3 rounds

Hey! I’m Ananta, and I debated for 4 years in LD at Scarsdale High School, serving as captain my senior year. I have taught at NSD the past 2 summers & TDC. I now attend UCLA where I am majoring in Molecular, Cell, Developmental Biology.

Harvard Westlake 2020 Update: I still hold most if not all of past beliefs. I do, however, ask that if you do get me as a judge at HWL this weekend, a) go for what you are best at because I am a bit sick of people just reading theory in front of me because I read it a bunch and doing it poorly. I can evaluate and like evaluating everything equally at this point, b) be SUPER clear - my flowing and hearing abilities are not what they used to be (thanks to genetics, headphones, and being a bit removed from the activity) so I would really appreciate it, c) explicitly extend, and d) have fun! Thank you :)

The short of it: The majority of my debates during high school revolved around theory, tricks (mostly theoretical tricks) framework, and kritiks, but that doesn’t mean I am unable to evaluate other forms of debate, I’ll just have a bit less background knowledge and experience resolving them so you’ll have to do more explanation. I am open to voting on pretty much any argument as long as it has a warrant that is clearly articulated. Please go for all your nontopical K affs, frivolous theory, and tricks but you still have to win them technically like any other argument.

Feel free to reach out about any questions you might have about my paradigm or in general about debate - I am always down to help out, give reading or drill recs, and be a resource!

Email (yes, put me on the chain, I am a really mediocre flower): ananta.wadhwa@gmail.com

Conflicts: Scarsdale, Legacy Christian Academy BP, LHP

Now, onto specifics:

Theory -

I love this type of debate and towards the end of my career, I went for theory pretty much every round. I find these debates to be so much fun, engaging, and I am most comfortable evaluating these types of debates. I default to drop the debater, competing interps and no RVI, but that's only if no other argument is made on either side for an alternate paradigm. Also, unless specified in a speech, I don’t think I-meets trigger the RVI, but I am definitely willing to vote on it if you tell me why I should. Also, please weigh really explicitly between shells, standards, etc. Theory debates get super messy and blippy really easily, and I want to be able to evaluate correctly.

Ks -

These are another type of argument that I am quite familiar with as I read quite a few cap Ks and Deleuze Ks in my time. I will probably know most of the common K literature so you don’t need to be that worried about me not knowing it. I think a good K debate consists of a lot of specific weighing as to why your advocacy is better in this instance. K debate can easily become an oppression Olympics, so I would be cognizant of that when you read Ks.

Framework -

A good framework debate will make me smile as it’s a dying art, but a part of debate that I found totally educational and will probably be able to evaluate. I read a lot of Agonism, Kant, & Butler as a debater. I am familiar with most philosophers even pomo and all, but if you want to read for example, some super non canon frameworks such as Baudrillard, please understand that you will have to take sometime explaining it to me in your speeches so that I will feel comfortable and be able to vote on it.

Tricks -

I was decently tricky as a debater and read a good amount of truth testing, NIBs, a prioris, etc. If tricks debate is executed well, I will be impressed, thrilled, and give high speaks. I debated a lot of Good Samaritan paradox and Rodl but never really read it so just make sure you explain why these are offense for you, why they outweigh, etc. I am not the best flower in the world so just be sure to really articulate blips clearly and if something super important happens like the concession of an a priori, to slow down a bit and make sure I have it. Side note: I will not dock speaks for winning on the a priori as I think that’s a legit strategy, but it would be a lot better if you had other sources of offense too.

Util -

This type of debate is the type that I am least familiar with but after being on the West Coast for the last year, I definitely think I know what's up, the common Util tips and tricks, and don't mind judging them. I taught and evaluated it a bunch at camp too so I definitely think I have a stronger basis in it than I did as a debater, but I never really larped after half way through my sophomore year. That being said, if you want to larp in front of me, go for it as I can competently evaluate these types of debate given that you WEIGH (cannot emphasize this enough) and differentiate between your weighing I.e. meta weighing - tell me if magnitude or time frame is more important and why, articulate your impacts I.e. extinction vs whatever, and are clear in your ballot story.

Other Important Notes:

1. I presume AFF if there is no offense left in the round and no other presumption argument is presented to me.

2. If you are rude or offensive in ANY way, I will be pissed, stop the round, tank your speaks, give you a stern lecture, tell your coach, and drop you. Just don’t make debate what it shouldn’t be and enjoy the activity PLEASE. Also, be nice to novices, you don't have to not spread or change your strategies too much, just be kind and understanding because you were once a novice too and we should encourage everyone to enjoy and partake in the activity! I probably will lower speaks if you are being absolutely ridiculous and rude to a novice.

3. I think trigger warnings are probably a good norm in debate, but if you don’t read them, I won’t have a problem or really pay it much attention unless a) your opponent is having a problem with it or b) your opponent reads arguments as to why you should be dropped for not reading them - I will vote on those.

4. I am willing to vote on disclosure theory, and I don’t really have strong opinions on it. I think it can be really strategic, but I also think reading disclosure against a small school debater who doesn’t even know what the wiki is is an “eh” practice and while I will vote on it, I’ll probably be a little annoyed and your speaks will probably reflect that annoyance.

5. I will not vote on racism, sexism, oppression, etc. good - I’ll just ignore it when I evaluate offense and do some part of what I said I would do in the 2 point of this section. I also don't think it has to be justified that one of the above isms is an bad impact.

6. I am slightly annoyed by blips such as "evaluate the debate after the AC" or something along those lines. While I will vote on these types of arguments, they do make me cringe A LOT and your speaks will suffer a bit if this is what you end up winning on.

7. Update based on some arguments I have heard recently: If something is "condo" and you kick it, I think the whole argument including framing, the advocacy, etc. goes away - it's like that part of the flow never happened. Unless you explicitly explain to me why I still can/should look to that flow as an argument in the round even if it was kicked, I don't think I can vote on it because I do not think that is what condo means. I am willing to vote on these types of arguments, I just think I need a pretty coherent why its true.

8. I don't think compiling docs needs to be done during prep unless it gets super unreasonable/seems sketch, then I'll ask you to use prep to do the rest.

Speaker Points:

I'm probably a speaks fairy! I reward people for being entertaining and creative with their strategies as well as for good execution in the round. Most importantly just have fun and don’t take debate too seriously. I loved debate a lot when I did it and hopefully you do too :) I will award higher speaker points if you make a clever and NOT offensive joke (if you are offensive, you can refer to the 2nd point in the section above). I'm a pretty easy going person. Let’s just make debate less toxic and more fun and educational.

Nigel Ward Paradigm

3 rounds


Have the email chain setup. There is no reason you should be fumbling with an email chain 10 minutes past start time. It makes me seem late(big image guy) and leads to tab (understandably) sending runners to annoy me...and that annoys me. Put differently: Even if Im late, have the email chain set up and ready to send upon my arrival or speaks will decline by no LESS than 2 whole points...try me! {npiredebate at G mail}

TOC additions:

Paradigmatic additions: FWK/T and Ks are arguments that have been in debate for a while now...get over it and win the debate. If you expect a judge to stop the round after a debater reads a Shapiro or Patterson card...I'm not the judge for you and will probably laugh at you.


I go in to rounds as a blank slate, you should tell me how you want arguments treated/used("filter the debate through permutation etc.) This makes framing HUGE

I love a good T vs policy aff debate

I'm capitalist but think the Cap K is one of the most underrated and strategic positions.]

About me: Existentialist and Capitalist majoring in Finance, Intl Business and Arabic.

Don't be lay. Don't be boring. Don't be anti-semitic. Facts>Feelings. Tech>Truth (default).

"The infants in the graveyard smile widely without teeth, Carefully sewn in columns and rows, rotting little seeds...Raking tears from upturned eyes"

Addie Wilson Paradigm

6 rounds

add me to the email chain pls: adelinecorinnewilson@gmail.com
i am very short and am often confused for a high school child. yes I am your judge.

Who I am:
Denver East/Denver Independent '17
UC Berkeley '21
I personally never cared about this kind of stuff as a debater, but in case you do—I debated three years of high school, made it to the TOC and broke at almost every national tournament I went to (almost entirely as an independent entry so small schools, I feel you).

tldr: if you're wondering if you can read *x* argument in front of me, the answer is yes. I am familiar with and have read K literature, the politics DA, performance, framework, counterplans, high theory, heg good affs, etc. don't tailor your argument to fit what you think I want to hear. do what you're good at and explain your arguments well and there won't be any problems.
in terms of speaking—despite spreading, I believe debate is still an exercise in persuasion and public speaking. look at me! make jokes! be charismatic! make fun of the other team's arguments/yourself/people I know!


K affs:
do what u want. ideally, your aff should be somehow related to the topic. however, if you are able to convince me that you deserve to win with an aff that is as untopical as some of the nonsense I read in high school, I'll still vote for you. but don't assume I'm familiar with the theory you're reading—trying to confuse the other team with big words that you never explain will not help you. I will hold you to a very high threshold when it comes to answering framework because this is an argument that you ABSOLUTELY need to have good answers to if you are choosing to read a K aff. On the immigration topic specifically, be sure you have excellent answers to topical version of the aff as I foresee these arguments being very persuasive. if you chose to advocate something (which you probably should), tell me what it is and why it matters. tell me what my ballot means. too often the actual aff gets lost in clash of civ debates and I hate when the 2AR is nothing but "framework bad".

while my arguments in high school rarely ever included framework, I answered it almost every aff round. this means that despite my personal history, I have a good understanding of and appreciation for FW debates. as a judge, my perspective on FW debaets has evolved consierably from when i was a debater. you are on the side of truth—use it. read specific interpretations and topical versions of the aff. tell me specifically what about the aff is unfair/abusive. HOW DOES THE AFFIRMATIVE ACCOUNT FOR THE FACT THAT DEBATE IS A COMPETITIVE ACTIVITY WITH A WINNER AND A LOSER. the one thing I hate about FW debates is when they have nothing to do with the aff itself. that being said, I love judging FW debates. a lot.

yes!!!! I like Ks. read them well. this includes going very in-depth with the link debate in the block (and actually answering the answers made to your links—not reading the link wall your senior wrote for you), articulating your alternative well, explaining the relationship between the squo/the world of the aff/the world of the alt, a strong link debate, and most importantly: clear, developed framework that tells me how I should evaluate the round and what my ballot means in terms of the K. oh and did I mention links? *side note* if you're reading a K your coach just threw at you moments before the round because you think I'm a K hack and I'll like it better than a policy arg, don't. I will be sad.

Language/Rhetoric Ks:
I decided to add this here after some thought, and my goal is not to offend anyone with this section. please be careful when reading language/rhetoric Ks in front of me (ex. "you guys"/ableist rhetoric). unless the K is either connected to the argument you are reading or genuinely comes from a place of passion and desire to improve debate, please don't read it. a simple call out during CX should suffice and is often a more effective way of changing this kind of speech. obviously I will deal with any egregiously offensive language. but if the team you are debating unintentionally lets slip a word that carries offensive connotations to a certain group—this should not be treated as an instant ballot for you. it is an opportunity to educate and should be handled as such. if you have questions feel free to ask me :)

Affs v. Ks:
pretty much the inverse of my stance on Ks. attack each and every link, point out flaws in the alternative, tell me why the aff is better than both the squo and the alt, and make good framing args. the key to winning against the K with a policy aff most often lies on the framework flow. for critical affs against the K- articulate and execute the permutation if you have one.

yep. compare and explain your definitions/interpretations and tell me why they're better. if you want me to vote on T, tell me why I should. attach your interpretation specifically to the topic and the necessity to exclude THIS aff in particular.

I love them!!! good CP debates that clash over solvency and perms are some of the most exciting. I don't have any particular stance on CP theory except for I think the neg should probably get to read them. the CP should be both textually and functionally competitive. I will listen to it and vote for it even if its not, but it should be. disads are great by themselves but are best when paired with a more offensive argument in the 2NR. specific links will get you far.

ugh. I have been in many of them myself so I do understand why it happens, but 2ARs on nothing but theory are the worst. that being said, if the neg is trying to read a CP that steals your aff, PLEASE call them out on it. I don't air a certain way on any theory arguments, however I believe they are almost never reasons to reject the team. the only thing important to me is that you contextualize all of the arguments you are making to what is happening in the round. I DESPISE people just spreading their theory blocks at each other with no actual analysis or clash.

I think evidence is a tool, not a weapon, and blanket extension of cards without talking about their contents doesn't make an argument. Use evidence to support arguments, not to make them. That said, unevidenced, but well reasoned arguments are good. I'm for it! I don't think only cards can be evidence; a good story, poem, allegory, song, dance, whatever, could be evidence too. Of course, cards can beat non-traditional evidence also.

Things I think are rules of debate:
tech > truth
you cannot clip cards
you must flash/show your evidence to your opponents
speech times
you cannot text or communicate otherwise with anyone who is not your partner during the round
you cannot steal prep
debater-directed sexist/racist/prejudiced speech or behavior is never acceptable

Things I do not think are rules of debate:
whether or not you are topical
using the internet to look up what the hell that weird K word means (is ok)
being nice to your opponents (tho you will lose speaker points)
being nice to me (tho I'll like you more if you are)
what you choose to do with your speech/prep time

Maya Xia Paradigm

6 rounds

Maya Xia
Preferred pronouns: She/her
Debated at Katy Taylor and TAMS. TOC qualled my senior year.
Currently a sophomore at Vanderbilt and assistant coach in LD at Harker. Worked at VBI summer 2018 all sessions.
Email chain: mayaxia2018@gmail.com (Please add me to the email chain!!)

Please stop mistaking me for your opponent :'(

Tl;dr: I like LARP style debates. Your speech should write the ballot for me- I want to be able to pick out a sentence or two word for word that I can write on my ballot to justify why I’m voting for you.

I’m only judging at a few tournaments this year. That means please go at 75-80% speed of what you normally go at so I can follow along effectively. If I didn’t hear it because you’re too fast or unclear, then I won’t flow it.

My personal preference for arguments goes as follows:


2. Theory

3. K’s

4. Philosophy

5. Tricks


I like good LARP debates with in-depth topic research and strong evidence comparison. Good debaters should be able to properly collapse and explain the scenario in both the big picture and the line-by-line fashion. Super specific plans probably need to be topical and have solvency advocates, so if you don’t meet both qualifications, I can be pretty persuaded by theory. Conditionality is probably bad in LD, but I can be persuaded either way.


I’m not as familiar with most K literature, so if you’re reading a kritik, please don’t just use buzzwords to explain your argument. You should be able to coherently explain the thesis of the kritik using the vocabulary of a kindergartner so that I can effectively understand and evaluate the round. Your 2NR should not be 100% prescripted because in those cases, debaters tend to lose anyways. I also need a clear articulation of the alternative does- if I don't know exactly what happens and what happens after the alt, then I can't vote on it.


I default competing interpretations, no RVIs, and drop the debater, but you need to justify them. Please don’t blaze through the shell. Slow down for the interp and pause between standards. Have interps/counter-interps pre-written and sent before the speech starts. Weighing standards is super important. I like smart theory debates where the interp solves for most abuse in the shell and has clear offense. 1AR theory is smart, and you should go for it if there’s clear abuse. Please do top level theory weighing (1ar theory first, topicality outweighs, fairness first, which shell comes first, etc.).

I’ve never read or debated tricks, so you’ll probably confuse me a lot if you go for tricks.


I didn’t debate much philosophy/framework, so if you’re reading a phil AC/NC, please, again, explain it to me as you would explain it to a kindergartner. I default to comparative worlds, so if you’re truth-testing, please justify it, although I’m more convinced that comparative worlds is the better model of debate.

Non-T Affs:

I was essentially 100% topical my entire debate career, so I tend to lean against non-T affs and believe that T-Framework is true. If you can beat T or whatever arguments they read, I’m fine with non-T affs. If you’re reading T, don’t drop thesis level arguments in the aff that can take out T because I’m not going to grant you leeway for answering these args in the 2NR.

Other Stuff:

PLEASE EXTEND ARGUMENTS. I have a lower threshold for extensions in the 1AR, but they still need to be there. I won’t vote on any morally repugnant arguments. Flex prep is fine with me. I think disclosure is EXTREMELY important. I was the only debater from my school and I always disclosed, so I probably won’t be convinced if you go for disclosure bad.

Victoria Yonter Paradigm

6 rounds

- 4 years of HS debate in Missouri (policy, LD, Congress, IEs)

- 4 years of NDT-CEDA debate at the University of Georgia (2014-2018)

- Assistant debate coach at the University of Southern California (2018-current)

- Now I work for the Chicago UDL

Please put me on the email chain and email any questions: victoriayonter@gmail.com

General Thoughts:

1. Clarity > speed: Clarity helps everyone.

2. Neg positions: I find myself voting more often on the "top part" of any neg position. Explain how the plan causes the DA, how the CP solves the case (and how it works!), and how the K links to the aff and how the world of the alt functions. Similarly, I prefer CPs with solvency advocates (and without a single card they are probably unpredictable). I love when the K or DA turns the case and solves X impact. If you don't explain the link to the case and how you get to the impact, it doesn't matter if you're winning impact calculus.

3. K affs: Despite my tendency to read plans as a debater, if you win the warrants of why it needs to be part of debate/debate topic, then I'll vote on it. As a coach, I read far more critical literature now than I did as a debater.

4. Warrants: Don't highlight to a point where your card has no warrants. Extend warrants, not just tags. If you keep referring to a specific piece of evidence or say "read this card," I will hold you to what it says, good or bad. Hopefully it makes the claims you tell me it does.

High School LD Specific:

Values: I competed in a very traditional form of LD in high school. I view values and value criterions similarly to framing arguments in policy debate. If you win how I should evaluate the debate and that you do the best job of winning under that interpretation, then I'll happily vote for you.

Ballot Writing: LD speeches are short, but doing a little bit of "ballot writing" (what you want me to say in my reason for decision) would go a long way.

Random Notes/Pet Peeves:

1. Don't be rude in cross-x. If your opponent is not answering your questions well in cross-x either they are trying to be obnoxious or you are not asking good questions. Too often, it's the latter.

2. Questions about what your opponent read belong in cross-x or prep time. You should be flowing.

3. I am Turkish and while I don't care what you say about the government, please pronounce Erdoğan's name correctly. It's a "soft g" so you shouldn't really pronounce the g. More info (Wikipedia)

4. My degrees are in math and economics. But I strive to judged based on a median knowledge and not let me own preconceptions factor into my decision (it will factor into my facial expressions though). I lean tech over truth (but am not firmly so), but if you think you're out-teching someone but aren't on the right side of truth, a quick justification of tech over truth would be smart.

5. I'm an expressive judge. I've found this helps debaters feel confident that I'm following and add clarity to arguments that I'm not following.

6. My random discussions during dead time that are unrelated to the round are for a few reasons: it makes rounds less hostile and toxic, to minimize ability to steal prep, and as someone with speech and hearing disabilities I care about the "baseline" natural speaking ability of all debaters I judge and try to accurately judge (especially to give speaker points) in a way that is conscious of the ableism that exists in the debate space.

Lawrence Zhou Paradigm

5 rounds

University of Oklahoma '19

Bartlesville, OK '14

Affiliations: The Harker School

Conflicts: Apple Valley, Norman, anyone currently employed at VBI

Last updated: 1/12/2020 for Stanford (PF)/Cal (LD)

Email for the chain: lwzhou10@gmail.com (Yes, I want to be on the chain, if you don't put me on the chain, I just assume you haven't read the paradigm)

Any questions, just ask.

If it is right before the round, just look at the "Answers to Common Questions" section. If you are doing prefs before the tournament or have more time before the round, you should begin at the "Prefs Overview" section in my paradigm in full paradigm linked below.

Full Paradigm here.

2020 Update

See full paradigm

Answers to Common Questions

Q: Should I shake your hand?

Q: What's your paradigm?
A: ... the way I evaluate rounds? More specifically?

Q: Are you okay with speed?
A: If I wasn't, do you think anyone would hire me?

Q: What experience do you have as a judge?
A: Too much.

Q: Do you care if we stand/sit?
A: Nope, but it's better for you if you can stand

Q: Preference of seating?
A: Nope.

Q: Will you yell clear/speed?
A: Yes, 2 times.

Q: Are you okay with theory?
A: I suppose.

Q: What do you default on theory?
A: Competing interps, drop the arg, RVIs fine, but need to be justified.

Q: How about policy arguments?
A: I suppose.

Q: What about kritiks?
A: I suppose.

Q: What about performance?
A: I suppose (see below)

Q: What if I read a blatantly non-topical aff?
A: Meh (see below)

Q: Are there any arguments you don't want me to make?
A: Yes, bad arguments. Again, I'll vote on them, but I'd rather not.

Q: Do you disclose speaks?
A: Not anymore

Q: What does it take to get the 30?
A: You probably won't get one, but knock my socks off and you'll get close.

Q: Should I pref this guy?
A: Good question.

selena zhang Paradigm

6 rounds

selena zhang (she/her/hers)

conflicts, affiliations, organizations: harker (ca), okemos (mi), archbishop mitty (ca), fairview (co).

if you would like me to know about anything to make the round more accessible to you (gender pronouns, where to sit, trigger warnings, etc), i encourage you to talk to/email me beforehand.


hi! i debated policy in high school on the colorado circuit and at uc berkeley. i am now a junior at cal studying economics and cognitive science but am no longer debating.

this is my third year of coaching and my second year with harker. i judge upwards of 50 rounds per season between policy and LD.

email for anything: firstnamelastname17 (at) gmail [substitute as necessary]

if you are pressed for time, read the bolded parts.


- run anything and everything--i will listen to whatever you choose to present, but tell me why you win.
- clarity over speed. i will very explicitly stop flowing if you are unclear.
- tech ≥ truth, regardless if you are running 1 off, 10+ off, or anything in between.
- open cx is fine and emailing/flashing does not count as prep, but keep both to a minimum. time yourselves and hold each other accountable.
- being assertive is fine; being rude is not. i trust you all to know the difference and act accordingly.


at the end of the debate, i holistically evaluate the round, with the strongest emphasis on the 2nr/2ar. i then work my way backwards and determine how well earlier speeches set up the final rebuttals. dropped arguments are not automatically true, but must be warranted. i will not intensely read cards unless if you tell me to or if i feel like it would help me understand the analysis done in your speeches.

this process is slightly different for LD and PF. the speech times for both activities do not allow for extensive argument development, so i tend to evaluate the earlier speeches with a little more weight than i would in policy. however, your 1ac underview/spikes should not be longer than your actual 1ac case.

thoughts on specific arguments

case: i love case debates. i am a huge fan of ones that have more than just impact defense in the block. case turns, author indicts, and recuts of the opponent's evidence are great to see in a round. extinction good and de-dev are valid arguments provided you explain it well. however, morally abhorrent arguments such as "racism/sexism/etc. good" are not valid.

counterplans: are generally good if they are well researched and have a thorough solvency advocate. i am not against any specific counterplans, but if you do choose to go for ones that are considered to be somewhat illegitimate and/or abusive, be ready to defend them.

disads: great. i especially like case specific ones that have a strong link chain. impact calculus is important.

kritiks: sure. i am relatively well-versed in some of the more common kritiks, but i am not very familiar with some of the hyper-specific k's on this year's topic. it would be in your best interest to explain and contextualize your k to me in relation to the affirmative. this could involve (but is not limited to) excavating a very specific link to the affirmative, showing how the thesis of your k highlights the truth of the 1ac, pulling out lines from the aff that link into your kritik, among others.

i have a high threshold for kritiks, so make sure you understand the literature behind the theory. alt solvency is important, but you do not necessarily need to win the alt in order to win the k. make sure that you can clearly communicate how your alternative would function if it were actualized. flesh out the link debate and the perm debate. provide a clear framework of how i should evaluate the round.

K affs/nontraditional affs: a lot of what was written above is applicable to here: i am fine with them. i would prefer that your aff is somewhat relevant to the topic, and unless you are able to clearly show me why you deserve to win with an untopical aff, i am more inclined to vote negative on these. understand your k aff from the inside out, and make sure you have good framework answers.

topicality (for policy affs): i genuinely love a good T debate, but i do have a high threshold for it. that just means i want to see it debated well. tell me why you win on T.

T-USFG and framework vs K affs: great arguments. i do not have any strong opinions on this argument, but i hope to see fleshed out impacts, contextualized answers as to why your model is good/why their model is bad both inside and outside the debate sphere.

theory: this description is for any type of policy-oriented theory argument, ie PICs bad/good, condo, ASPEC, etc. refer to the LD section below for my thoughts on "tricks" theory arguments.

since very few people actively go for theory, i naturally have not judged many theory 2ar's. theory can be fine; however, i usually do not vote on it because the arguments and impacts are not fleshed out very well in most rounds. i find that i vote on theory if one side was at a clear and severe disadvantage coming into the round, and that the debater was able to explicitly contextualize this disadvantage.

(mis)disclosure and evidence fabrication can be voting issues, but i would hope that everyone appropriately discloses and correctly cuts evidence beforehand.

clipping: do not clip cards. i am comfortable dropping you on clipping, but i am generally reasonable if you stumble on one or two words.

speaker points

my scale is relative to the tournament that i am judging at or the division of the event. other than that, my thoughts on speaker points do not differ much from everyone else’s, and i try to keep up with community norms. in general, i add points for clear speaking, well-developed arguments, and strategic argument choices, and i subtract them for the inverse of these qualities.

judging LD

i judge LD quite extensively and have become very familiar with the style and format. most of what i wrote above is highly applicable to LD, especially at the circuit level. with my policy background, i have found that i am the best suited for LARP/K debates. however, please do what you do best: if you are not very familiar with policy-style arguments, you do not have to run them. while adapting to your judge is important, i believe that a characteristic of good debaters is that they are able to win with their own style regardless of the person they are debating in front of. i like impacts, but i am also down to judge a good traditional/lay framework debate as well.

i am seeing an increasing number of tricks and troll arguments, so here is my stance on them: my threshold for these are generally low, so expect an uphill battle if you choose to go for frivolous theory, tricks, or RVIs in the rebuttal.

i normally do not judge that many phil/tricks debates, so if you insist on that strategy, please spend some time contextualizing and explaining your arguments.

judging PF

in PF, i follow a very similar method in evaluating debates as i do for policy and LD. tell me why you win; write my ballot for me. i am open to any kind of argument as long as it is well-warranted. most of what i have defined above in regards to presentation are also applicable to public forum. keep your off-time road maps and formalities (asking to take the first question, for instance) to a minimum. i am more lenient on speaker points in pf than other devoted pf judges and care more about your arguments instead of your actions.

paraphrasing cards equates to evidence fabrication -- have the whole card ready throughout the debate.


  • engage with the other side's arguments and use your best judgement

  • i flow CX. flex prep is fine, but i will only evaluate what is said during your designated speaking times.

  • i understand that there will inevitably be disagreement no matter the decision, but i hope you can learn from the loss to win any of my future ballots. i can clearly tell the difference between asking questions with the genuine intent of improving vs. saying snarky remarks/asking frivolous questions in an attempt to undermine my judging skill and character. if these decorum issues persist, i will end the discussion and ask you to hash out your further questions through email.
  • if you ever need any clarification on RFDs on tabroom or what i said after the round, please feel free to reach out to me.

  • i am generally fine with any of your personal preferences when it comes to debate, as long as your actions are not affecting anyone else.